Game 1 is over. The question is what did we learn during and after Game 1? I sat and watched last night and I think that Jeff VanGundy and Mark Jackson enjoy their jobs way too much. They get to sit and watch this firsthand and get paid to do it. Now, let's get back to the game.
1) The Mavericks started Stevenson on LBJ? I was thinking, oh my goodness, he might get 40 tonight. But, I will go ahead and take a swipe at LBJ. If you turn and they have Stevenson on you and you don't post him up and go over him or through him to the basket (no fall away jumpers on a smaller dude) I am going to scream. Stevenson should have played a sum total of 10 minutes last night due to foul trouble. Period. Yes, the Mavericks are going to double you, but get him in the post and make your move. Done. (Memo to LeBron: Work on your post up game in the summer. It's sure to help you dominate in the future).
2) Dirk had problems with Haslem, as I thought he would. The surprise was that Joel Anthony played him well too. I imagine that some of those calls go against Anthony when they head to Dallas, but they put a body on Dirk and kept those arms up. It doesn't help the fact that Dirk tore a ligament in his non-shooting hand. It should effect his shooting but it will definitely effect his limited ball handling. Other than hurting like he77 (I've done this twice, both pinkies) Dirk should be able to get through this, but it will change his game a little. Dirk had 27 pts, 8 rebs, and 2 asts, but he shot a miserable 7-18 (1 of 3 from 3) and as usual 12-12 from the free throw line.
3) What happened to the Dallas bench? JJ, Terry, Haywood, anyone? Only 12 pts for Terry (all first half), 3 pts for Haywood (did he get hung on a dunk by himself?) and 2 pts for JJ. They gotta play better if the Mavericks hope to win this series. I expected more from Terry, but he's gotta find a way to score and stop flopping all over the place.
4) LBJ and Wade. Each of them took turns taking over the game for the Heat. I'm note sure how you stop them, because normally you only have 1 defensive stopper on your team and that person probably is not built to stop a guard (quickness) and a forward (size and speed). LBJ ended the game with 24 pts, 9 rebs, 5 asts, and 2 monster dunks (the oop from Wade and the one crossing over Marion). Wade ended the game with 22 pts, 10 rebs, 6 asts, and 2 blks and several daggers at the end of the game when the Mavs thought they might sneak back in.
5) Mike Bibby needs to hit a shot. I mean, hit at least one shot. He only took 4, but he wasn't even close on those. If he can get it going, it might spell more doom for the Mavs than what we already see.
So, all in all, the Heat are up 1 - 0 and looking good for the next game on Thursday night. Can the Mavs make some changes in time? Can the Heat get more out of Bosh and Bibby? What did you think were the keys to the Game 1 win for the Heat?