Here’s the bad news for the Heat: they lost Game One. And here’s the worse news: Josh Howard shot 3-of-14, Dirk shot 4-of-14, Jerry Stackhouse was 4-of-11, the game was played at a fairly slow and sloppy pace, which probably favors the Heat, and the Mavs still won by ten.
But, as I said, it was a pretty sloppy game and I didn’t feel like it was played at any sort of a decent level. If the Spurs/Mavs series was played at the final level where you save the princess and fight the evil Bowser (who’s chucking hammers at you like he’s Antoine Walker), then last night’s game was at the opening level where you just speed through, eat some mushrooms, collect some coins, dodge a turtle or two, and then leap merrily onto a flagpole.
So, who knows. Both teams, at times, seemed pretty shaky offensively. Maybe in Game Two, both teams will be more comfortable, and it’ll be a completely different story. But on the defensive side of the ball, I don’t see how things could possibly get much better for the Heat. They were very good at that end. Udonis Haslem did a great job on Dirk… just as he did against Rasheed Wallace, working his ass off in the post, denying him position. Dirk didn’t take a whole lot of shots that he liked last night. And again, the Mavs still had enough for a win.
And the star of the show was, of course, Jason Terry, a guy whose balls seem to grow when the spotlight gets brighter. 13-of-18, including 4-of-7 from behind the three-line… he’s getting plenty of shine, and he deserves it. He was the one Mav who carried the load offensively.
And I’d also like mention real quickly… if any of you find yourselves concerned about tuning in to the games early to catch some of ABC’s pre-game show… just don’t. Use that time to do something a little more informative and intelling, like heading to a nearby truckstop and reading the things that drunk truckers have scribbled on the urine-stained walls. I’m sorry, Mark Jackson, I know there’s a lot of things you’re good at, but… lead studio analyst is not one of them. It’s like ABC wasn’t even trying with this. It’s like this whole thing was a surprise to them, and 10 minutes before tip-off, they needed an analyst and someone spotted Mark Jackson and said, “Hey, he used to play basketball! Get him over here!”
Game Two is Sunday night.