The Dallas Mavericks come into Miami on Friday night trying to extend their winning streak to three games while the Heat look to gain momentum after beating the Milwaukee Bucks 118 – 95 on Tuesday.
Many predicted another disappointing year for the Mavs, but they have gotten off to a solid start. They are 5-3 and seem to have the potential to snag a playoff spot behind the play of Monta Ellis, Dirk Nowitzki and a solid supporting crew. Ellis, acquired this offseason by Dallas via free agency is leading the team with 22.5 points per game and dishing out 4.8 assists. After a down Nowitzki-esque season last year, the future hall of famer is averaging 18.3 points while veteran Shawn Marion is adding 12.5 rebounds and a team-high 8.6 rebounds.
The Miami Heat have gotten off to somewhat slow start. Sure, they are 5-3 and lead their division, but when it comest to the two-time defending champions, excellence is expected. They have suffered losses to both the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics, but have beaten quality teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers.
LeBron James leads the Heat in both scoring (25.5 ppg) and assists (7.3). Chris Bosh leads the team in rebounds (6.4) and Dwyane Wade is having another D-Wade-like season, dropping 18.4 points per contest while recording 5.1 assists per game.
Miami and Dallas average 106.8 points per game, tied for fourth in the league. Both teams are coming off two days of rest and should be ready for a battle on both ends of the floor. It will be interesting to see whether the Heat, who currently are seventeenth in opponents points per game (100.1), can begin to form into the defensive monster they were last year when they were fifth in the league in OPP (95).
Miami Heat, 105 – Dallas Mavericks, 97
National TV: None
Time: 7:30 PM EST