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Friday, December 21, 2012
Mavs, Heat headed in different directions

By Tim MacMahon

Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion was the only healthy remnant on the floor Thursday of the Mavs' 2011 title team that beat LeBron James and the Heat.
DALLAS -- It’s been only 18 months since the Dallas Mavericks defeated the heavily favored Miami Heat to be crowned NBA champions.

“That feels like a decade ago,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Imagine how the Mavs feel, especially after the Heat rolled to a 110-95 rout that was a heck of a lot more lopsided than the final score indicated Thursday night at the American Airlines Center.

It’s ridiculous to call this game a 2011 Finals rematch.

Dallas’ lightning-in-a-bottle title team has been dismantled, leaving forward Shawn Marion as the only healthy Maverick who played a minute in that postseason and the franchise’s dozen-year playoff streak in jeopardy. The Heat, fresh off the 2012 title, look like a team that has a legitimate chance to become the dynasty everyone envisioned during the dance party that doubled as a press conference following The Decision.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban, whose recovery from passing a kidney stone spared him the pain after watching the Mavs’ nationally televised misery from his normal baseline seat, made the business decision to let key members of the franchise’s first championship team leave in free agency.

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