Saturday, February 20, 2010
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks on NBATV @ 8:30 PM ET
Prediction: Miami wins by 33. Not really, Miami is a 10 1/2 point underdog in this road game against one of the Western Conference's elite team's, the Southwest Division leading Dallas Mavericks, but I never really know what to expect from the 2009-10 Miami Heat, so why not?
The easy answer to why not is Dwyane Wade will not be suiting up. Also out is starting point guard Rafer Alston of the Miami Heat and Dallas's starting Center Erick Dampier making your projected starting lineups:
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks
C J. O'Neal B. Haywood
PF M. Beasley D. Nowitzki
SF Q. Richardson S. Marion
SG D. Cook C. Butler
PG C. Arroyo J. Kidd
On paper the Mavericks are better at every position, except Center where JO is a superior talent when his body permits it. This being the fourth game in 5 nights for both teams does not bode well for him in this match up.
Miami heads into this game having lost 11 straight to the Mavs including a 106-93 defeat in Miami in December, but still holds bragging rights in the rivalry thanks to that incredible NBA Finals come from behind victory.
I predict an unexpected victory like the one the 2003-04 (Thanks Kazam) team came up with in Dallas in route to claiming the 4th seed in East and advancing to the second round where they put a scare to the #1 seed Indiana Pacers.
Not sure how long they can keep up the winning streak, but I am thinking the energy bus rolls on today as the Mavericks will have a hard time getting up for this game while Miami continues to get production from unlikely sources.