The Miami Heat looked dominant in their game 1 win over the Dallas Mavericks. An 8 point win might not seem like domination, but the Heat held the Mavericks to 37% shooting, including a 7-18 performance from Dirk Nowitzki, and outrebounded the Mavs 46-36. Even the Mavs bench, which has helped carry them through their playoff run, was outscored 27-17 and shot only 4-22 from the field. Was it a matter of the Mavs missing makeable shots? Or of the Heat defense again forcing their opponent into inefficient offense?Notes:
- A paradox of the Heat is that while they are known for glitz, glamour and hype, the way they've been winning throughout their playoff run has been decidedly unglamorous. They're grinding teams down with fierce, stifling defense, surrendering only 88 PPG on 41.6% opponents' FG% in the playoffs. Dallas' high-powered offense provides them their biggest test so far. The Heat passed easily in game 1, and a big reason was LeBron James shutting down Jason Terry in the second half.
- Udonis Haslem is the perfect role player for the Heat. He's like a supercharged Lou Amundson, giving the team interior toughness, defense and rebounding. The Heat are 5-0 since he returned from injury.
- The folks at Mavs Moneyball have some ideas to get the Mavs bench cranking up to its usual level of performance.
Mavs at Heat, 6PM PDT, ABC. Heat lead series 1-0.