As they show a passion for closing out tight games with huge
finishing kicks, the Mavericks will end their four-game, five-night stretch
with the Miami Heat at American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks have won four in a row and the last two, both
on the road, have been particularly impressive. They beat Oklahoma City 111-103
with a 28-13 run at the end of the game. Then at San Antonio, they outscored
the Spurs 17-6 in the final 4:42 to win by nine.
This is a good habit to get into.
The next trend they need to start is establishing a stronger
home base. The Mavericks are 6-1 on the road this year, as good as anybody in
the league except San Antonio. But they are only 5-3 at home and haven’t
looked all that interested in putting together any kind of dominant streak at
American Airlines Center.
That can change tonight against the Heat. And if you have to
play four games in five nights, it’s absolutely the best situation to
have the league’s most hated team coming in to finish the busy schedule.
If you can’t fight through whatever fatigue exists with the adrenaline
that comes from facing LeBron, Dwyane and Bosh, then shame on you.
“It’s a game we want to win and we feel like we
can win,’’ Tyson Chandler said. “We’re coming off two
great wins in our conference and division. It’s going to be huge for
The Heat has been more like the Lukewarm this season, going
just 9-7 amid preseason expectations that they would be a 70-win club with
their new Big Three.
Tonight also could feature the unveiling of Erick Dampier in
a Heat uniform. He was active on Friday against Philadelphia, but did not play.
The Heat signed the former Maverick earlier this week.
It would not be a surprise if Dampier starts setting those
tough screens for Wade and James as soon as possible and they will quickly
learn how to use them.