PreHeat: Dallas Mavericks (21-5) at Miami Heat (21-8)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="288" caption="Arroyo sings without Auto-Tune, Barea clearly amused"][/caption]
  • The Miami Heat are piping hot, looking to stretch their 12-game winning streak and avenge their 95-106 loss in Dallas last month. Home is where the heart is for the South Beach boys (12-3 at home), but the veteran Mavericks are tour tested, currently holding an NBA second best 8-1 record on the road.
  • Since a loss to the Chicago Bulls on November 19th, the Mavericks have been equally sizzling going 14-1 since. This head-on fireball collision will serve as the most accurate test to legitimize Miami’s contender status, both teams ranking in the top 5 of almost every important statistical category. Great preparation for the anticipated Lakers game on Christmas Day.
  • Dallas is just another victim of the South Florida tour, visiting Miami and heading north to Orlando the day after to face the new look Magic. It would be nice if it was the other way around.
  • With a deep pocketed owner like Mark Cuban who disregards profit for the sake of winning, the Mavericks are one of the most stacked teams in the NBA east of LA. Nowitzki is once again having an MVP-caliber season, Jason Kidd continues to defy age countering with his uncanny court vision, Tyson Chandler is the dream big man at center and a trio of super Sixth Men (Terry, Marion and Haywood) pick up any slack the starters may leave behind. Miami has the hottest trio in the nation, but Dallas is the roster colossus.
  • Look closely for some sort of Puerto Rican secret handshake from fellow Olympic teammates Carlos Arroyo and Jose Juan Barea, better known to Americans as "JJ" Barea. If we could only get a Miami-appropriate JOSE JUAN yell from a commentator for once.
  • I’ve publicly contemplated the possibilities of Tyson Chandler (a 2011 free agent) taking the full Mid-Level Exception offer, if such exists after this season, from Miami to fill the glaring hole in the middle. It’s a long shot, as Tyson might command higher wages in a league short of able big men, but one can dream as he towers over the Heat’s frontcourt, swallowing rebounds and taking swats at everything directed at the rim. Tyson currently leads the NBA centers in True Shooting % (72.7) whilst being one of the lowest in Usage (12.31). He also ranks 4th in Total Rebound Rate - 2nd in Defensive Rebound Rate. Food for salivating thought.
Home Away
Miami Dallas
Heat Mavericks
21-8 Record 21-5
(5th of 30) 110.8 Off Rtg 109.0 (11th of 30)
(2nd of 30) 100.1 Def Rtg 102.3 (7th of 30)
(24th of 30) 90.9 Pace 91.0 (21st of 30)
Likely Starters
Carlos Arroyo PG Jason Kidd
Dwyane Wade SG DeShawn Stevenson
Lebron James SF Caron Butler
Chris Bosh PF Dirk Nowitzki
Zydrunas Ilgauskas C Tyson Chandler
James Jones 6th Jason Terry
American Airlines Arena
7:30 PM EST
Sun Sports / 790 AM / NBA TV
Injury Report:
Heat: M. Miller (likely out until PHO), U. Haslem (out indefinitely)
Mavericks: Rodrique Beaubois (out indefinitely)
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