NBA Preview: Breaking Down Mavericks-Heat in Miami, A Battle Of The NBA's Elite

Danny DolphinAnalyst IDecember 20, 2010

DALLAS - NOVEMBER 27: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat dunks on Caron Butler #4 of the Dallas Mavericks on November 27, 2010 at the American Airlines Center 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 Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Tipoff: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, December 20, 2010

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

Records: Miami 21-8, Dallas 21-5

Line: Miami by 7

TV/Radio: NBA TV, Sun Sports, 790 WAXY

Offensive Efficiency: Miami (4th), Dallas (8th)

Defensive Efficiency: Miami (1st), Dallas (6th)


  • I expect Mike Miller to play tonight. All he is waiting on is Pat Riley’s approval. I would think he would like to have him debut at home and electrify this rather laid back crowd. We all know Pat has a flair for the dramatic.
  • Dexter Pittman has been recalled from the D-League after averaging 16.6 points and 9.0 rebounds on 60 percent shooting. Expect him to be inactive along with Magloire, although I think he should be getting garbage minutes instead of someone like Juwan Howard. He needs NBA minutes.
  • Dallas is one of the better defensive teams in the league, ranking fourth in defensive field-goal percentage. They often go zone and it will be up to shooters like James Jones and Mike Miller, if available, to blow that strategy up and force them to go man.
  • Tyson Chandler gave Miami fits in their last matchup, dominating the glass with 17 rebounds. Expect a heavy dose of Erick Dampier to match Dallas’ length inside.
  • I really like Wade’s matchup in man situations tonight. Whoever Dallas throws at him, he should be able to break down with ease. I would imagine Shawn Marion will defend LeBron in chunks.
  • Miami has a 12 game winning streak on the line and a need to prove their worth against the NBA’s elite. This is another statement game.