W2W4: Golden opportunity for Mavs in Miami
Jason Terry doesn’t just bust out the gold Reeboks for any game.
This is a chance for the Mavericks to make a statement, to let the rest of the NBA know that they’re going to have a legitimate shot to repeat as NBA champions. This Finals rematch is also a chance to get a little revenge after the Heat ruined the Mavs’ Christmas by dominating Dallas after the championship banner was raised to the American Airlines Center rafters before the season opener.
It’s also an opportunity for the Mavs to get right on the road. They’re only 10-14 away from the AAC this season after having the best road record in the league the last two seasons.
Records: Mavs (29-22); Heat (35-13)
When: 7 p.m.
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: Can the Mavs keep the Miami offense from rediscovering its rhythm? The Heat have looked horrible while losing the last two games by double digits. Miami committed a total of 38 turnovers in the losses to the Thunder and Pacers. The Mavs let the Heat get in the open floor way too often and way too easily in the season-opening embarrassment, giving up 31 fast-break points to Miami in that game. The Mavs have to make the Heat play a grind-it-out, halfcourt game.
Key matchup: Shawn Marion vs. LeBron James -- All the criticism of James’ clutch failures in the Finals overlooks the fact that Marion’s defense was a major factor, just as it was against Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant in the previous series. This is the kind of game that could help Marion make a serious case for Defensive Player of the Year consideration. Then again, LeBron got the best of Marion the last time the Heat and Mavs met, scoring 37 points on 11-of-19 shooting in the season-opening blowout.
Injuries: Mavs -- C Brendan Haywood (sprained right ankle) expects to return Friday night vs. Orlando; G Delonte West (fractured right ring finger) is questionable. Heat -- SF LeBron James (dislocated finger) is probable; G/F Mike Miller (sprained ankle) is out.
Up next: Mavs at Orlando Magic, 7 p.m. Friday
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.