Perhaps seeing their NBA final foes from a year past is what the doctor ordered for both the struggling Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat. Both teams have endured their toughest month of the season, with the Mavericks going 8-7 and the Heat 8-6 in the month of March. And while the NBA finals might not be on the line this time, there Heat are playing with a certain measure of pride hoping to extend their 14 game home win streak. The Head lead the Mavericks 60-53 at halftime, as the Heat rode an 11-4 run to close out the half.
Dwyane Wade leads the hit in scoring, notching 14 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field. LeBron James has added 11 points and Chris Bosh 9 points. But perhaps the most promising statistic for the Heat thus far, has the been the bench production: Udonis Haslem and Norris Cole each have 8 points, and as a group, the bench is 10 of 13 from the field.
For Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki is sure to inspire some halftime nightmares if any of the Heat fans take a nap during the intermission. He's connected on 8 of his 10 shots, for 16 points, but it's not just the production that has been impressive- it's been the quality of those points. Haslem, Joel Anthony, and Ronny Turiaf have all taken turns guarding Dirk, but each to no avail. Dirk has made several tough jump shots and even a rare drive to the basket taking on two Heat defenders.
Vince Carter has added 9 points for the Mavericks, and Brandon Wright has 8 points off the bench. Shockingly (and eerily reminiscent of the 2003 NBA Finals), the Mavs have attempted ZERO free throws at the half. Perhaps it has something to do with their 17 3-point shot attempts, but the statistic is alarming for the Mavs nonetheless.