Scouting report: Heat vs. Mavs

Originally Published: June 6, 2006
By John Carroll | Scouts Inc.
There will be a new champion in the NBA this year and everyone is looking forward to the battle between these two teams because of the star power of Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Pat Riley and even Mark Cuban.

Under Avery Johnson's leadership, Dallas has proven that it has the ability to play different styles. Coach Johnson has maximized matchups in his favor, and dictated tempo to the Mavs' advantage. Dallas will try to slow Shaq and Wade and rely on tremendous depth, quickness and shooting ability to beat the Heat.

Pat Riley has his team playing at a high level on both the offensive and defensive end. With both Shaq and Wade, Coach Riley has two dominant scoring options. However, the playoffs are all about matchups and this is a bad matchup for the Heat. The Spurs might have been the best team in the NBA but they are no longer playing because the Mavs were one of the worst matchups for them.

No one is sure what the matchups will be when this series starts. Miami's starting lineup will stay very consistent but look for Johnson to utilize different combinations. He has utilized his bench magnificently and look for him to come up with a key mismatch that will cause the Heat a problem. He might start big with DeSagana Diop but could go small. He might start with Devin Harris or Jason Terry at the point. In addition look for Adrian Griffin or Marquis Daniels to play key roles defensively during this series.

John Carroll

Scouts, Basketball Recruiting
John Carroll joined Scouts Inc. after nine years as an NBA coach, including a seven-year tenure with the Boston Celtics that concluded with a four-month stint as interim head coach in 2003-04. Before joining the NBA, Carroll spent six years as head coach at Duquesne University and seven years at Seton Hall as an assistant to head coach P.J. Carlesimo.