I came into tonight thinking game one of the finals would be a high scoring affair, full of high percentage shots and star power. Boy, was I wrong. Not only wrong, but disappointed too. Honestly, 92-84? That's it? I really thought these offenses had more than that.
Given that the offenses weren't at their best, the rest of the game wasn't all that bad. The defenses were solid, and teams came into the game with solid plans to shut the other down. Dallas did a good job of rotating on defense and helping out on James and Wade. In the first half the Heat really struggled to get going, especially in the first quarter.
The score at the end of the first half was 44-43 Mavericks, but from there it went down hill for the Mavs. The Heat came out of the locker room with a plan to get their offense back on track, while the Mavs never really adjusted. They got outscored by five points in the third quarter and four in the fourth quarter.
Although the score would indicate that the Heat outplayed Dallas in the second half, that's not necessarily the case. The Mavs were getting plenty of open looks, they just weren't making them. It also doesn't help that Dirk Nowitzki was 7-18 from the field. He was getting similar shots to those he got earlier in the playoffs, it's more that the fade-aways just weren't falling for him tonight.
The real problem for the Mavs tonight was they got absolutely nothing from their bench. Jason Terry had 12 first half points and looked strong at the beginning of the game, but he really struggled in the second half, going 0-5 from the field and scoring no points. The Mavs bench as a whole combined for 17 points on 4-22 shooting. It's hard to win a game when your bench significantly hurts your cause.
While Miami's bench wasn't great, they were better than the Mavs, and it also helps that the Heat rely much less on their bench than the Mavs do. The Mavs are supposed to be a team that goes nine deep, but tonight, that definitely wasn't the case in game one.
Tonight the big three each had at least 19 points and nine rebounds a piece. In a low scoring game like this when extra possessions and a couple baskets here and there can be the difference, the big three were enough to win.
If the Mavricks' shooters can get back on track in time for Game 2, they will have a solid chance at evening up the series before it heads back to Dallas. Miami has been impossible to beat at home during the playoffs, but if the Mavs get hot, anything can happen. Just ask the Lakers.
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