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Pace and prediction

Keep hearing talk about the Heat being able to let loose offensively in this series against the Mavericks because their defense isn't as good as that of the Bulls or Celtics.

Well, I don't subscribe to the theory that this will be an up-and-down series. Now, I understand the idea that three-point misses can turn into fastbreaks, but the Mavs shoot good three-point shots, they don't randomly chuck them up there.

Besides that, though, the Mavericks don't turn the ball over a ton (12.7 TO a game in the playoffs), and that's what really sparks fastbreaks.

As for the offensive end for Miami, no the Mavericks won't pose the same challenge as the Bulls. But the Mavericks tend to junk up their defense. They'll throw a zone in there, they'll mix up their pick-and-roll defense. All of it could very easily confuse the Heat for 2-3 minutes at a time. And that's all it takes to keep the score a little lower and the pace a little slower.

Still, the Heat's main guys have a way of figuring things out, eventually. It might not be in Game 1, which will probably feature some confusion from the Heat offense, but as the series progresses, the Big Three will find ways to attack whatever defense the Mavs throw at them.

Still don't believe it'll be a high-scoring series, but I believe the Heat has a high enough basketball IQ overall to solve the Mavericks defense.

As for the series, if the format was still 2-2-1-1-1, I'd say Heat in five. But with the 2-3-2 format for the Finals, gotta go with Heat in six.

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