Dwyane Wade and LeBron James made a strong statement in the opening game of the 2011 NBA Finals - we're here to win, and we're not going away without a fight.
Dirk Nowitzki and his Mavericks will have to put up a tremendous effort against the Heat in Game 2 on Thursday night in South Beach (9:00 p.m. EDT; TV: ABC) if they plan on hanging around in the Finals.
It's certainly true that an 0-2 series hole isn't insurmountable - the Miami Heat i 2006 and the Boston Bruins this year can tell you that - but against a team that boasts both Wade and James (oh, and did I mention Chris Bosh?), the Mavericks would put themselves at a sever disadvantage if they drop Game 2.
Unfortunately for Dallas, Nowitzki is not at 100 percent after tearing a tendon in his left middle finger in Game 1. Without Nowitzki, the Mavericks' leading scorer in the regular season (23 PPG) and the postseason (28.3 PPG), defeating the star-laden Heat almost seems like an impossible task.
James (25.9 PPG) and Wade (23.6 PPG) have been on a tear this postseason, pushing aside all criticism that the Heat's stars can't finish games.
Unless the Mavericks can find a way to contain both James and Wade, their chances of winning an NBA title are slim.