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NBA Finals, Heat Vs. Mavericks: Dallas Can't Afford To Go Down 0-2

It might be stating the obvious, but the Dallas Mavericks cannot afford to drop Game 2 against the Heat and fall into an 0-2 hole. As Calvin Watkins points out, a team that goes up 2-0 in the NBA Finals wins the series 93.3% of the time - at least under the current format. 

At the Mavericks' shootaround Thursday morning, Dirk Nowitzki emphasized his team can't get down 0-2 in the best-of-7 series. 

Under the current 2-3-2 format, a team with a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals wins the title 93.3 percent of the time. 

Only three teams in NBA Finals history have returned from an 0-2 deficit to win the title. The last team to do it was the 2006 Miami Heat, which beat the Mavs in six games.     

It would be somewhat poetic if the Mavericks lost Game 2 on Thursday night and then rattled off four straight wins to win the NBA Finals in Miami against the very same team that beat them in the 2006 NBA Finals - but I think the Mavericks and their fans would rather not go down that route. 

Again per Calvin Watkins, Dirk Nowitzki thinks that the Mavericks need to do a better job of rebounding - or else they'll find themselves in an 0-2 hole.

"You never want to be down 2-0 in a series; that's a big hole to overcome," Nowitzki said. "It's not impossible, but we'd love to go home sitting pretty 1-1. We've got to go for it and compete a little harder, rebound better. I think that's a big key. The Heat is a very explosive offensive team and we have to hold them to one shot, rebound the ball and speed the game up some."

Here's hoping the Mavs avoid an 0-2 hole tonight in Miami.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.