Dallas versus Miami. Is Miami really 4.5 points better.
Last year Dallas beat Miami six out of eight times straight up. Dallas played Miami four times at home and went 3-1 straight up. The lone loss at home was by two points.
Offseason moves. Dallas lost Chandler who significantly prevented Miami penetration. And Dallas lost Barea-- a scorer who could create offense on his own. Caron Butler’s was a regular season loss. In an odd way, they replace Chandler’s quality (though not his defense) with Lamar Odom. They replace Barea with a wheelchair bound Vince Carter. Simply, Carter is washed up. But Mark Cuban’s a genius billionaire. Maybe he knows something. I doubt it. Butler was essentially replaced last year by a rejuvenated Shawn Marion-- a player Dallas figured out how to use. He plays best with a playmaking point guard, Nash and Kidd.
What about Miami?
They didn’t really lose anything; and their greatest gain besides Shane Battier is a healthy Udanis Haslem. Miami still is weak at point guard. Chalmers backup, rookie Cleveland State’s Norris Coles, could be a huge difference maker if he lives up to potential (how he played in the preseason).
So really this game boils down to what differnce does the loss of Chandler and Barea make with Miami’s increased inside pressence with Haslem. Plus, REVENGE FACTOR. The whole world is all over Miami. And the motivation could be real. But is Dallas really deserving of the huge 4.5 point home dog? That’s a line that’s moved four points.