Heat Vs. Mavs Score, Game 1: Miami Extending Lead, Dallas Defense Sinking

The defense of the Dallas Mavericks has been great for most of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but cracks are starting to show in their foundation. It's understandable - the best defenses in the league break down against Miami eventually - but it's still a bit disappointing for Mavs fans and neutrals. Particularly disappointing has been Dirk Nowitzki's rebounding, which has been substandard. On the Heat's most recent offensive sequence, which occurred before a Dallas timeout at 6:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Heat grabbed two offensive rebounds when Nowitzki was in position to grab the board himself.

It would be understandable if Dallas just never really had an answer for Miami, but they've been great for most of the game. Just a couple of minutes before that possession, Nowitzki made a fantastic rotation onto Chris Bosh, who appeared to have an easy layup, and eventually forced him and the Heat into a 24 second violation. Defensively, Nowitzki is understanding his responsibilities, he's just not working hard enough on the boards. If a team can't finish their defensive possession with good rebounding, their good defense usually means nothing. With 6:36 remaining in the game, the Heat lead by a score of 74-69.

For live coverage of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, keep it tuned to this StoryStream. To see the up-to-the-minute score, along with information from around SB Nation on the game, keep your browser on this Heat-Mavs score page. Throughout the NBA Finals, check out our 2011 NBA Finals hub for more coverage. For more on the two teams, Mavericks fans should head over to Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas, while Heat fans should check out Peninsula Is Mightier.

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