Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Miami Heat take game one of NBA Finals 92-84 over Dallas Mavericks

By Kshell

The Miami Heat took game one of the NBA Finals over the Dallas Mavericks 94-84 behind good games from the famous big three. The Heat were led by Lebron James who scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Dwyane Wade scoring 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Chris Bosh scoring 19 points and nine rebounds. The Heat also saw some production from their bench as their bench outscored the Mavericks bench 27-17. The Heat also outrebounded the Mavericks by 10 and the Heat made more three pointers than the Mavericks. It was about as dominant as you can be in an eight point victory. For the Mavericks besides Dirk Nowitzki who scored 27 points and Shawn Marion who scored 16 points and 10 rebounds there just wasn't much production. The Heat have now won five NBA Finals games in a row over the Dallas Mavericks dating back to 2006. Now the Mavericks will hope to get the split in game two in Miami to even the series up. For the Heat they continue their home dominance improving to 9-0 at home in these playoffs.

The first quarter was a grind for both teams as scoring was tough to come by. The Dallas Mavericks led the first quarter 17-16 behind Jason Kidd scoring six points on two three pointers, Jason Terry six points on a three pointer and Dirk Nowitzki scoring four points. The Heat had Lebron James lead the way with eight points and Chris Bosh scoring six points. The other two points was by Dwyane Wade. The Heat didn't receive much production from their other two starters. It was a slow quarter for both teams as the Heat shot 6-20(30.0%) from the field and Mavericks were even worse shooting 4-14(28.6%) from the field. The difference in the quarter was the Mavericks made three three's to the Heat just making the one. In the following quarter the Heat would start to knock down some three point shots.

In the second quarter was a nice back and forth contest as both teams scored 27 points for the Mavericks to lead at halftime 44-43. The Mavericks were led by Nowitzki who scored nine of his 13 points in the second quarter. Nowitzki had 13 points on four for nine shooting from the field. Then Shawn Marion scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds. The Mavericks got 12 points off the bench including making three three pointers. For the Heat they were led by Mario Chalmers in the second quarter as he scored 10 points off the bench and made three for five from three point range. The Heat big three had a nice first half as well led by Bosh who scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. James had 10 points, three rebounds and three assists on four for eight shooting. For Wade he had seven points, five rebounds, three assists. The Heat in the second quarter made five for nine from three point range. This would set up a great second half in which the Mavericks blew a chance to put the game away.

In the third quarter the Mavericks began the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 51-43 lead over the Heat. That was a turning point as the Heat went on a run throughout the rest of the quarter led by Lebron James. Lebron James hit a fall away three pointer at the buzzer to give the Heat a 65-61 lead after three quarters. The Heat had outscored the Mavericks 22-17 in the quarter. For James he was three for three that quarter from three pointers to lead the Heat. Wade started to turn it around as well scoring eight points in the third quarter. The Heat after three quarters were starting to hit their three pointers making 9-21(42.9%) and outrebounding the Mavericks 36-30. That set up a a fourth quarter where the Heat's big three took over especially the 2006 Finals MVP.

In the fourth quarter the Heat pulled away outscoring the Mavericks 27-23 to win 92-84 to take game one. The Heat were led by Wade who scored seven points in the fourth quarter and James who scored five points. Chris Bosh also scored five points in the fourth. The Heat when it came down to it have three of the four best players on the court. The Heat for the game were led by Lebron James scoring 24 points, grabbing nine rebound and dishing out five assists. James shot 9-16 from the field and made four of five three pointers. Dwyane Wade scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out six assists and had two block shots. Wade shot 9-19(6-9 second half)from the field including two three pointers. Chris Bosh finished with 19 points and nine rebounds but shot just 5-18(1-9 second half) from the field. The Heat also got 12 points from Chalmers, seven from Haslem and six from Mike Miller.

For the Mavericks they had several guys let them down. Dirk Nowitzki scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 27 points on 7-18 shooting and 12-12 from the foul line. The Mavericks got just 12 points from Jason Terry who was shutout in the second half. In fact Terry, Peja Stojakovic and J.J. Barea combined to shoot 4-21 for just 14 points. The Mavericks big advantage on the Heat this series was supposed to be their depth yet it appeared the Heat were the deeper team. Nowitzki and Marion showed up but nobody else did. Jason Kidd finished with nine points all on three point shots and six assists. The Mavericks must regroup as they don't want to fall behind 0-2 in this series.

All in all, this is just game one of a very long series. I do think today's game represents why the Heat will win the series. The Heat at the end of games just have three great players to lean on while the Mavericks have just one. Like last series against the Bulls the Heat will make the Mavericks beat them by Nowitzki scoring over 40 points otherwise this will be a short series. The Heat bench stepping up won't last forever but whenever the bench steps up that is a win for the Heat. You also saw how great the Heat defense is today holding the Mavericks to just 84 points which counts Kidd hitting a three pointer with practically little time left in the fourth quarter with the game over. Now the Heat will hope to improve to 10-0 at home while the Mavericks with their backs to the wall will look to make this a series once again.


- Lebron James is inching closer and closer to his first title. Today James carried his team until Wade finally came through. James hit the dagger three pointer at the end of the three quarter that felt like it turned the game around. He had two great dunks in the fourth quarter as well.

James finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists. James has been terrific these playoffs and hit four three pointers. James took a ton of crap about the "decision" but that will be forgotton if he can win the title this season.

- Nowitzki scored 27 points and was 12-12 from the foul line. Yet Nowitzki didn't have the impact he has had in the past three series. I think Nowitzki has to average 35+ points a game for the Mavericks to win this series. I just think the Heat's perimeter defense will shut down the Mavericks guards so it will be up to Nowitzki. Nowitzki shot just 7-18(38.9%) from the field and shot under 40.0% in that 2006 NBA Finals.

Nowitzki when facing the Western Conference was able to dominate but today wasn't the case. Nowitzki had a strange 27 point outing and he's bound to have a more productive game. Nowitzki was also terrible on the rebounds having just eight while Miami had 16 offensive rebounds including five by Bosh.

- Who would have thought the Heat bench would have been more productive than the Dallas Mavericks bench? The Heat bench outscored the Mavericks bench 27-17, outrebounded them 15-8 and shot better than the Mavericks. The Heat bench shot 8-22(36.4%) from the field, 5-11(45.5%) from three's and six from seven from free throws. While the Mavericks bench shot just 4-22(18.1%) from the field, 3-10(30.0%) from three pointers and 6-10(60.0%)from free throws. All around the Heat bench just out played the Mavericks bench.

The Heat bench was led by Mario Chalmers who scored 12 points on three three pointers. Then Udonis Haslem was big scoring sevent points and grabbing six rebounds. Mike Miller hit two three pointers scoring six points and five rebounds. Even Juwan Howard in just seven minutes of playing time added two points and three offensive rebounds. If the Heat bench is playing well then this will be a short series.

- Dwyane Wade ended his slump scoring 15 of his 22 points in the second half. Wade also rebounded from shooting 3-10 to finish 9-19 shooting. Wade struggled against the Bulls last series but the Mavericks don't have guys who can contain him. After playing yet another poor half Wade had a great all around game. He basically had a typical Wade game scoring 22 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing out six assists and recording two block shots.

Wade also had a beautiful alley-oop pass to Lebron James for the dunk at the end of the game. In a game where Bosh shot 5-18 including 1-9 in the second half it simply didn't matter. James and Wade were just so good it didn't matter. At the start of the playoffs most people agreed that Wade is the third best player in the NBA. If Wade plays like Wade the Heat could be celebrating a title very soon.

In conclusion, the Heat's victory over the Mavericks was expected as most teams win game one at home. In fact the last time a team lost game one at home in the NBA Finals was 2004 when the Detroit Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers. Winning game one is important though as the winner of game one of the NBA Finals since 1990-2010 has won the Finals 17 times. So game one winners in the last 21 NBA Finals are 17-4(.809). One of those four losses of course was 2006 when the Dallas Mavericks won game one but lost the series to the Heat in six games. The Heat looked tough at home and just appear to be clicking at the right time. The Mavericks though to their credit are tough on the road and this series is far from over. The Mavericks will have a chance to get the split in game two then have three straight at home. With the way James and Wade are playing though the Mavericks better get a move on it or their season could end very soon.

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