Heat vs. Mavericks: 3 Things That Need to Happen for a Dallas Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2012

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Darren Collison #4 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Center on November 7, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks have quite a gargantuan task ahead of them. Tonight the 16.6 Miami Heat come into town.

Dallas, 12-13 on the season, has been up and down in 2012. Losing Jason Terry and Jason Kidd didn't help, and neither has the injury to Dirk Nowitzki.

But the home and away records show that the Mavs might have a chance to pull off an upset in the American Airlines Center. The Heat are only 4-4 on the road, while Dallas is 8-3 at home.

The Mavericks certainly have a chance, and in order for that to happen, these three things need to go right.


1. Hope Miami Doesn't Shoot the Lights Out

In the Heat's last game, they were out-rebounded by the Minnesota Timberwolves 53-24. That's an absolutely amazing statistic, considering Miami won by 11 points.

The Heat got the job done by shooting 13-25 from behind the three-point line. They're leading the league in three-point shooting for the season, making 41 percent.

Dallas might be giving up 101.5 points a game, but it has kept opposing teams to only around 35 percent from behind the arc, good for ninth in the NBA.

If Miami has the kind of performance like they did against the Timberwolves, there's no chance to beat them.


2. Get Perimeter Defense from O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo has been a fantastic signing this season. He's been shooting very well en route to averaging almost 21 points for the year.

One area in which he has been lacking, though, is on the defensive end of the floor. Head coach Rick Carlisle had said as much back in October.

Mayo will be guarding Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen for most of the game. Shutting down LeBron James will be almost impossible, but limiting Wade and Allen gives the Mavericks a good chance of winning.


3. Darren Collison Must Step Up

The Associated Press reported regular point guard Derek Fisher is set to miss the next three games and possibly more.

That means Darren Collison is going to have to take a heavier burden on offense. Mavericks management were really banking on Collison this season after making a trade for him to replace Kidd.

It's telling that the 38-year-old Fisher had to be brought into the fold. Collison hasn't lived up to expectations and as a result, he's behind Fisher in the depth chart.

In order for Dallas to be successful, Collison has to live up to the hype. This game could provide a great opportunity for the guard to show that he's the guy the Mavericks can rely on in the future.