by Brett Edwards
So far in this series, what I said would be Dallas' greatest asset is proving to be just that. The Mavs had five players in double figures as they cruised to a 14-point Game 2 win, after leading by as many as 27 in the second half. The depth of Dallas is the key to this series. Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench for 19 points, including 10 straight in the second quarter to help DAL to a 16-point halftime lead. Nowitzki also bounced back from a subpar Game 1 with a 26 and 16 performance.
On the Miami side, most experts expected Shaq to have a big game, but it was quite the opposite. Shaq had his worst postseason performance of his career, scoring only 5 points on 5 shots and grabbing only 6 boards in 28 minutes. Riles sat Shaq the entire 4th quarter, partly due to the fact that the game was out of hand, and partly due to Shaq's ineffectiveness. Hell, even Eric Dampier racked up 6 points and 13 boards in the same amount of time on the floor. Unlike the Heat's previous opponent, the Mavs actually play solid team defense. This, combined with their depth on offense, is why I don't see MIA winning more than one game in this series.
Miami has been a strong home team in these playoffs, and I expect them to come out strong in Game 3. But the bottom line is that Dallas has too many weapons on offense and plays too much defense for the Heat to hang. Expect the Heat to maybe grab Game 3, but even that's a stretch considering they're now 0-4 versus Dallas this season.