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 Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Mavericks news, Dirk Nowitzki and much more.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett discuss the upcoming NBA draft and possible moves the Mavericks could make.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.