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HEAT Take Game One

by Photo of Tommy Dee

HEAT’s Defense Takes Mavs Shooters Out of Comfort Zones

HEAT Take Game One

Via MavsMoneyBall.com

"Somewhere in the third quarter, the Mavericks started to catch up with the Heat in paint points, but they couldn't extend the lead. A layup by Marion rimmed out, and LeBron James came right back down the court with a three to put the Heat back in front. From the sound of the arena you'd think the Heat built a 10 point lead, when in fact they only finished the quarter up four, and only because James hit a buzzer-beater three.

There were so many shots that, under normal circumstances, wouldn't have even been an afterthought, but tonight the Mavericks could not get them to fall. Their trips to the line proved to be absolutely vital, though missed chances there would hurt them as well. I will not suggest that the referees were calling a bad game, but there were some calls I would have liked to see a few more times in slow motion.

With under five minutes to play, the Mavericks were still in a position to win the game, if they could only get their shots to fall. Looking back, I'm sure they'll smack themselves for missing so many free throws, but at least they were getting some calls. Fouls or no fouls, however, the Mavericks were allowing far too many easy buckets, and the three-point shooting team was getting out-shot from beyond the arc."

Tommy's Take:

Let charged.fm get you the best seats for Game 2.

The bottom line is that, like we've been saying for some time, the HEAT's ability to close out on shooters and force them to put the ball on the floor was the difference in this game. The Mavericks simply were forced to take harder shots and the result was 37% shooting from the field and a bench that managed just 4-22 from the field. That obviously needs to change or this is going to be a short series.

Making matters worse is Dirk Nowitzki's tendon injury. The Mavs star tore the tendon on his non-shooting middle finger.

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