The Dallas Mavericks may be the defending NBA champions, but they certainly didn't look like it in their opening day game against the Miami Heat. In front of a national audience looking for a distraction from Christmas Day activities, the Heat jumped out to a 15-point first-quarter lead and never looked back, cruising to a 105-94 win that was not nearly as close as that score makes it look.
The Heat led by 32 at the end of the third quarter and none of their starters were forced to log more than 36 minutes. In fact, only three Heat players logged more than 30 minutes as Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James were able to mostly enjoy the fourth quarter from the bench.
Bosh, in particular, barely had to do anything. The Heat power forward played just 24 minutes and scored just four points. James and Wade did most of the heavy lifting on offense, combining for 63 points and 12 assists.
It was mostly a forgettable day for the Mavericks, who are clearly still trying to find themselves after some significant offseason changes and an abbreviated preseason. Dirk Nowitzki was just 6 of 15 from the field; Jason Kidd was held to nine points and three assists; and Vince Carter scored just five points while playing just 21 minutes.