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Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Dec 26 2011 @ 12:43 am In Miami Heat | No Comments

Merry Christmas.  The Miami Heat opened the season by beating down the Dallas Mavericks 105-94 on Sunday, and it wasn’t that close.  The Heat were up by 35 points in the 3rd quarter and during trash time the Mavs outscored Miami reserves 29-8 in the 4th quarter.  LeBron, Dwyane and the rest of the Heat exacted at least a small measure of revenge against Dallas for their loss in the NBA Finals back in June.

Miami was in control of this game from the begininning.  The Heat were up by 15 at the end of the 1st quarter and never looked back.  LBJ was the leading scorer with 37 points, while Wade dropped in 26.  Probably the most fascinating player in the game though, was rookie PG Norris Cole.  He looked very quick and even seemed to make the team look quicker.  The 1st year player out of Cleveland St logged 23 minutes.  Mario Chalmers, who started, only got 24 minutes.  I like Mario, but don’t be surprised if Cole takes the starting job by the end of the season.

As far as Dallas goes, they are going to lament the loss of Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea.  It’s not about numbers with those two guys.  They brought energy and defense that can’t be measured by stats.  Then the Mavs acquire Vince Carter?  C’mon.  Carter is the ultimate stats guy who doesn’t wind up helping his team win.  If Dallas would have added him without losing the other two guys, it could be viewed as a quality addition, but when you lose those guys, Carter is just another salary.  Dirk Nowitzki is a fantastic player, but Chandler was the perfect complement to him.  Without Tyson and Barea, Dallas is history.

The Miami Heat got the 2012 season of to a good start, and to be honest, they have a huge advantage in this lockout-shortened season.  This team is almost fully intact and in better shape than last year’s team.  Drafting Norris Cole could prove to be a beautiful thing, and Udonis Haslem is healthy.  Mike Miller is in street clothes again, but he looks good:).  ESPN’s Michael Wilbon predicted that the Heat would go 58-8 during this short season.  I predicted that they would win the NBA Finals(so did Las Vegas).  It’s one game, but so far they look like they could do both.

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