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Game #17: Miami Heat (9-7) vs. Dallas Mavericks (11-4)

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More of this kind of effor from Joel Anthony coming again tonight?
More of this kind of effor from Joel Anthony coming again tonight?

Before the season started, I went through the Heat's schedule and circled the games I thought would be the best ones.  Tonight's game between the Heat and Mavericks was definitely circled, and I'm still hopeful it will be matchup of superpowers that it sets up to be.  As far as the Heat's end is concerned, they can play any team on any given night, it just depends on which version of the Heat show up.

One thing about this Heat team that I've noticed is that they seem to play up or down to the level of their competition, and if that's the case tonight then we should be in store for a goody.  Dallas comes into this one riding a 4-game win streak which includes a big win last night where they traveled to 13-1 San Antonio and then left town with a huge road win. 

The Mavs will ride that momentum back to Texas, where the Heat has an opportunity to make statement that they are in getting things back on track.  There were several encouraging signs during last nights win over Philadelphia, but those things need to happen against the better teams in the league to verify that the Heat are in fact righting the ship.

A surprising bright spot of late has been Carlos Arroyo.  He now has hit at least one 3-pointer in 6 straight games and went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc last night.  Last season Arroyo made just 7 triples in 72 games but this season he already has 14 through just 16 games.   Who would've thought that he'd be shooting 63% from downtown (14-of-22) at this point of the season...

Chris Bosh has also been playing much better of late, and something that I've noticed is that he has been opening quarters very well.  What I mean is that he is finds a way to get the offense going at the beginning of quarters, and last night is a perfect example of that. 

1st quarter- Bosh opened with a field goal.  2nd quarter- He assisted on Miami's first bucket (James Jones triple) and then scored three straight field goals.  3rd quarter- opened with a field goal.  4th quarter- made the first 2 field goals.

GAME NOTES

  • Both teams are playing the 2nd game in a back-to-back.  Dallas got their big win in San Antonio last night while the Heat took care of Philly at home.
  • The Heat are just 2-18 in their last 20 regular season games against Dallas, and 1-9 in their last 10 visits to Dallas. 
  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas has 13 offensive rebounds in the last 5-game
  • Dallas has won 4 of their last 5 at home. 
  • Mike Miller (thumb) and Udonis Haslem (foot) are both out for Miami.
  • For the Mavs, guard Roddy Beaubois (foot) is out.

Tipoff from the American Airlines Center is set for 8:30.  Let's Go Heat!!