The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 109, Miami Heat 119

Posted by Connor Huchton on January 3, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

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You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • The Mavericks concocted one of their most complete performances of the season in Wednesday night’s overtime loss to the Heat. The only thing missing was the single additional point needed to gain a much-needed victory.
  • When pondering how the Mavericks’ ‘squandered’ a six-point lead in the final few minutes, a few reasons come to mind:
  • The Miami Heat, who actually played quite well, are an unbelievably talented and thoroughly overwhelming team. That much was apparent from the stellar play of LeBron James alone (11-20 FG, 32 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists), as he engineered impressive possession after possession in the final minutes. James found other Heat players for open corner threes with the precision of a well-practiced tactician. And when that failed, he simply curved and dodged his way to basket proximity and scoring success.
  • That goes without mentioning the terrific performance of Dwyane Wade (9-21 FG, 27 points, 10 rebounds, five assists), who seized several key overtime opportunities to seal the win for the Heat.
  • Wade glided to the perimeter, plucked an airborne Vince Carter pass, and assisted on a basket at the other end to give the Heat a very sudden and commanding seven-point overtime lead.
  • The Mavericks made far too many unnecessary mistakes down the stretch, as O.J. Mayo (12-21 FG, 30 points, six assists, six turnovers), Vince Carter (5-16 FG, 15 points), and Dirk Nowitzki (7-15 FG, 19 points, six rebounds, 29 minutes) each contributed to the Mavericks’ late-game turnover woes.
  • Nowitzki appeared the closest he has to pre-injury form, especially in regards to his confidence in releasing diffcult shots. It was very nice to see Dirk attempt and make jumpers from more than one impossibly guarded situation.
  • Beyond Dirk’s contributions, the Mavericks scored only 14 bench points.
  • The Mavericks have now loss six consecutive overtime games this season, and have only competed closely for a win in a few of those six. For whatever reasons (age, consistency, identity), the Mavericks have been completely unable to sustain any kind of high-level play for more than 48 minutes.
  • As Andy Tobo writes at Mavs Moneyball, one of the positive aspects of these recent games has been the reemergence of Darren Collison (4-9 FG, 11 points, three assists). If his moderate ascension can continue and the Mavericks collectively play near the level they did tonight, there’s hope for this Mavericks’ team yet.