During the offseason the Dallas Mavericks made a lot of changes. Adding nine new faces has presented challenges for Rick Carlisle and his coaching staff, but one of the main changes, Monta Ellis, has been amazing for the Mavericks. Ellis is leading the team in scoring with 22.5 points per game.
The new-look Mavs will get their first taste of the defending champion Miami Heat on Friday night. Since defeating the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, Dallas has lost four straight to Miami. In the process, Miami has averaged 110 points per game and won by an average of 14 points per game.
That was the old Mavs. This is a different group that likes to push the tempo and score. Both teams are averaging 106.8 points a game. The Heat, led by LeBron James, have multiple ways to beat you. Led by the big-three — James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — Miami can score and score quickly.
Perhaps what sets them apart, though, are the role players they have. Players like Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers know their roles, and whether it’s a critical rebound or a big steal they step up when asked to. That’s what makes the Heat so dangerous.
James is going to get his points, you know that, but in order to beat them you have to stop everyone else. Dallas shouldn’t have a problem scoring against the Heat, but their defense is going to have to step up in a big way in order to walk away with a victory.