On Sunday night the Miami Heat came into the American Airlines Center and did as they have done in all seven appearances since losing to the Mavs in 2011’s Finals matchup, kick some Mavericks butt.
This time they did it without LeBron James (and James Jones!). LeBron’s “replacement” Luol Deng was silly efficient like the rest of his Heat teammates, particularly former no.1 option Dwyane Wade and new no.1 option Chris Bosh.
Public Enemy #1, Mr. Wade had 20 points and 10 assists on 50% shooting. Dallas native Chris Bosh had the home cooking going on 70% shooting en route to 20 points himself and 10 rebounds. I was at this game, I really don’t remember Bosh missing a shot, three even! Luol Deng, one of many new faces brought to South Beach in bulk to try and recapture a portion of what was lost to the completely bordered by not beaches Cleveland in the summer, scored 30 points on 68% shooting and had four huge three pointers.
A sore sight for sour Eyes.
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Awful Mario Chalmers had 18 off the bench, and also had a technical rescinded in the third quarter than ended up as a T for Tyson. Upon review, the refs still decided to screw it up. Miami would go on a run after this sequence.
Just before the first half concluded, the Heat took advantage of a lethargic, pitiful Mavericks performance and took control of the game, never to seize it. Emerging from this contest that was anything but a barn burner, Miami went to 5-2 and the Mavericks 4-3, both starts semi-surprising given the offseasons of these teams.
Newcomer Josh McRoberts finally had his welcome-to-Miami game while on our end an ill (is he sick or not?!) Chandler Parsons was just dreadful. If he’s sick, okay, I understand, and it makes sense that he was quickly pulled in the second half for Richard Jefferson. But Parsons was re-inserted to finish the match with their Eastern Conference rival, indicating that…well, if he was really ailing he wouldn’t have gone back in, garbage time or not.
The positive of the evening was Jae Crowder.
The third year guard-forward has been relegated to the end of the bench, only having better sights of the rotation than Greg Smith and Charlie Villanueva. However, Crowder came in for defensive purposes with 5 seconds left in the third.
It’s not like Crowder dominated those 5(.1) seconds, but the effort across the board sans Tyson Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis was so dang disheartening that Carlisle stuck with the former Marquette Golden Eagle to square off against one of the most powerful fellow graduates of all time in Dwyane Wade.
Crowder was an instant spark plug, just as usual. Except this time he was doing it with the ball in his hands. No lie. Jae had the Mavs first basket of the quarter, a triple that ignited the crowd as well as……well, just the crowd.
Soon after Crowder was racking up hustle points as well as points that count, but there just wasn’t anything else coming and fans were headed to the exits with many minutes left, always a sour and annoying sight.
Jae Crowder finished with near perfection. 5 of 6 from the field, 2 for 2 from downtown and hit all three of his free throws on a blazed path to 15 points in a quarter and five seconds (12:05).
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
After the game, a really ticked off Head Coach Carlisle had many things to say about the bad, as he should and boy did he have some opportunities there. But Coach Rick had some promising and prophetic words about the 6 foot 9 dreadlocked forward.
Speaking on the hot topic of “The Boss,” Coach said “he’s gotten my attention.”
Look for Crowder to have an enlarged role tonight against the 5-2 Sacramento Kings, eating into Richard Jefferson’s minutes. Oh wait, RJ isn’t even playing…and Al-Farouq Aminu hasn’t even been that bad. And you don’t cut into the minutes of your big free agent signing this early or perhaps ever.
The way the Mavericks are built, expect Aminu’s minutes to come down a little and possibly J.J. Barea’s to enable Crowder to play some two guard, simply because…where else?
Crowder worked really hard this offseason and he looks fit as a fiddle and his often ridiculed outside jumper is clearly much improved. However, he didn’t have the built in benefit of piss poor or very little or very little piss poor competition for minutes in what is a decisive year for his NBA future. He needed a breakthrough. He made it Sunday night against the Miami Heat.
They say you earn your minutes, and if you’re not playing you work to earn the chance to play them. Jae Crowder earned them Sunday night, and he’ll definitely be a factor tonight.
VERY Notable Notes:
The Sacramento Kings have lost 20 straight games in Dallas. Their last win was a 126-124 overtime win in February 2003. Peja Stojakovic had 36 points. Dirk had 24…excuse me Dirk was 24. Speaking of the deity that is the Big German…
Dirk Nowitzki is 17 points away from passing Hakeem Olajuwon for 9th on the all-time NBA scoring list. That’s why I’m headed to cheapest but realest section of Stubhub right after I post this for my jolly joyous readers.