Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Danny

Nets at HEAT Official Game Thread and Preview

63 posts in this topic

670_heatnetspre_121201.jpg

(Photo Credit: Jesse Garrabrant)

The Miami HEAT host the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Both teams enter on five game winning streaks. Tip off is set for 7:30 PM; coverage starts at 7 PM on Sun Sports.

1.The Nets currently have the seventh best offense in the NBA. In their first meeting against the HEAT, they weren’t able to get anything going. Does that change tonight?

Couper Moorhead: I kept waiting for the Deron Williams drive-and-kick game to get going in that first matchup, but it never quite materialized. The Nets still struggle with their floor spacing at times – a big reason why Jerry Stackhouse has been getting late-game minutes, as he can shoot the corner three – and they haven’t always made the second or third pass that offenses need to beat Miami’s defensive rotations. A few weeks more of playing together should help, though, and even without Brook Lopez, fewer post-ups for him might prove to be beneficial against a defense that feasts on one-on-one play.

Danny Martinez: I doubt the HEAT hold the Nets to an offensive efficiency of 78.1 again. The Nets have nowhere to go but up, and I expect them to. However, I don’t think we’ll see them put up a big number on the HEAT. With Brook Lopez out, the Nets are without their lone above-average offensive big man. The Nets should be more one dimensional, though I guess Andray Blatche or Kris Humphries might surprise us.

2.Gerald Wallace missed the first game against the HEAT. What does his presence mean for the Nets’ defense?

Couper: Having someone capable of cutting off-the-ball should help the Nets a ton, especially considering Miami’s recent defensive breakdowns. Wallace isn’t going to spread the floor but I wouldn’t be surprised if he snuck along the baseline for a few easy buckets. And then there’s that whole thing about Brooklyn having a good defender for LeBron James, which is nice, but it still doesn’t solve the issue of how they play James in the pick-and-roll (which should be better without Lopez).

Danny: Few players possess the combination of size and athleticism that Gerald Wallace does. He should help the Nets immensely with his ability to cover LeBron James. Without Wallace, the Nets were forced to play small and James picked them apart in his 30 minutes of action. Between Wallace and Joe Johnson, the Nets will now have to perimeter defenders to check HEAT wing players. The Nets are 6-1 in games Wallace plays. That isn’t a coincidence.

3.The Nets are 9-2 in their last 11 games, with wins against the Celtics, Knicks and Clippers. Are they now in the championship contender discussion?

Couper: If they can get their defensive efficiency into the Top 10 and keep it there for most of the season, then we can have that conversation.

Danny: Not yet, but we’re getting there. The Nets have the eighth best net efficiency rating in the NBA, but they’ve played the 11th easiest schedule in the NBA. If the Nets are in this position in late January, when the schedules should be more balanced, then they’ll be in the discussion. I’ll label them, “wait and see.”

4.The HEAT have eked out three straight home games, relying on late-game heroics to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Do you see these games as positives or negatives for the HEAT?

Couper: In the long run, they are positives. It’s frustrating for fans to watch games where the HEAT should technically be leading by double-digits at a minimum, but gaining the confidence they are now in absolutely thrashing teams in the clutch is going to pay dividends. That the defense that been otherworldly in the last five minutes of close games should tell you all you need to know about the defense right now. It’s not consistent, but it is consistently great when there is a real threat of losing – it’s not as if the HEAT’s defense has an exposed weakness, as some have suggested.

Danny: It’s November. The HEAT aren’t playing perfect basketball, but they’re winning games. They have the fourth best efficiency differential while playing the second hardest schedule in the league, so it’s not like we should be sounding any alarms. These close games have given the HEAT a chance to work in different late-game sets and lineups. I think that’s a positive going forward. Also, there is a benefit to having things to work on. This recent home stretch should give Coach Spoelstra plenty to work on.

5.If the game is close at the end, will the Nets be the first team to stick to Ray Allen?

Couper: Somebody has to, don’t they? It’s getting pretty incredible how people keep forgetting where Allen is on the floor. Then again, the more likely scenario is they start keying in on Allen too much, Spoelstra uses him as a decoy and James gets an open lane to the rim. During the regular season, at least, teams can have the tendency to compensate in extremes from game-to-game.

Danny: Someone eventually has to, right? Three teams have now fallen victim to Ray Allen daggers late in the fourth quarter. Defenders keep drifting off Allen as he shuffles along the perimeter and LeBron keeps feeding him. Whether it’s CJ Watson, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams or Keith Bogans on Allen late in the game, you know Nets coach, Avery Johnson, will be telling them to stick with number 34.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Infernoian Preview

Today we've got Wuchuhurd, Scar and hopefully jafet6 previewing tonight's matchup.

1.The Nets currently have the seventh best offense in the NBA. In their first meeting against the HEAT, they weren’t able to get anything going. Does that change tonight?

Wuchuhurd: Hard to get a read on this Miami team right now but if I had to guess, this will be another high scoring struggle. Lopez' absence could be a blessing in disguise as it makes them faster and become more run-oriented. Brooklyn is also on a 5 game winning streak and should be coming to Miami with a bit more confidence and looking to make a statement. They know they are going to have to put up a bunch of points to pull off a victory.

2.Gerald Wallace missed the first game against the HEAT. What does his presence mean for the Nets’ defense?

Wuchuhurd: Gerald's presence gives them a versatile defender who can check LeBron and Bosh if needed. But he also makes the team faster on both ends and that will help them match Miami's pace and smaller lineup. Anytime you are lined up against Gerald Wallace, you better bring a hard hat because its going to get physical and he will make you work for every inch on the floor.

3.The Nets are 9-2 in their last 11 games, with wins against the Celtics, Knicks and Clippers. Are they now in the championship contender discussion?

Scar: Sure. But then again, you can make that argument for just about any team with a winning record.

4.The HEAT have eked out three straight home games, relying on late-game heroics to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Do you see these games as positives or negatives for the HEAT?

Scar: Positive. The Heat had issues in years past with these close game situations. James, and Wade are excellent scorers, but their long ball left a lot to be desired. With Allen in Miami, nowadays we have someone who thrives in these last second, game winning opportunities. I mean if teams are going to continue to keep Allen open as LeBron or Wade drives to the basket, he is going to continue killing them softly, so to speak.

Backcourt Breakdown by Wuchuhurd

With Lopez out, their is more pressure for Brooklyn's backcourt to produce than their is for Miami's. Still Brooklyn's all star backcourt is capable of carrying the load and getting hot from deep which seems to be the trend from Miami's opponents lately. With that I expect JJ and Deron to get into the scoring early and often. Wade enjoyed a very nice and efficient scoring outing in the last meeting. It's important he gets off to a fast start to put Nets rotation in a bind and decide if they want to bring out Watson or Bogans for defensive purposes. Rio obviously has his hands full matched up against Deron. Getting Rio off to a fast start would also be great to buy time for Ray who otherwise would have trouble defensively against their backcourt. Ray picked up 5 fouls in just 26 minutes of play during the last meeting. Bottomline is that as long as the Heats backcourt stays toe to toe with the Nets, they should be in good shape seeing that Miami's frontcourt should have it easy against a Brookless lineup.

Frontcourt Breakdown by Scar

The match up to look for will be Crash vs the King. Wallace is a good enough player that he will pester LeBron whenever he is on the court. For the Nets, Wallace will provide the best defense against LeBron. That being said, LeBron has the obvious advantage in this match up. Wallace has been playing very well ever since he came back from his injury issue, but LeBron is one of those players that will annoy him on both ends of the court.

Who knows who will start at the PF spot for Miami going forward until Shane Battier comes back. It looks like Rashard Lewis will get the starting nod for the time being. Kris Humphries is a banger in the low post area, Lewis can bang with him, but Humphries is a physical presence that will steal a rebound or two away from him. What Lewis does have to his advantage is his long frame and the rejuvenation of his long ball. Lewis currently sits as a very deadly long range assassin and that should keep Humphries out on the perimeter more then he wants.

First Tim Duncan sits out a game and now Brook Lopez is missing a game due to a legitimate injury. Chris Bosh should play another very efficient game given the fact that the Nets will probably play small ball right along with the champs. Bosh currently sits as the highest scoring center in the NBA. The Nets will try placing Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans or maybe even Humphries on Bosh to try and quiet his hot start to the season. Bosh did have one of his poorer outings of the season against the Nets in their first meeting, except a bounce back game for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prepare your umbrellas cause scrubs Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse (wait he's still in the league) are going to rain 3s on us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really hoping D.WADE asserts himself this game without forcing the issue.He has to get into a rhythm without overdoing it,let the game just come to him.It should be a competitive game,can't wait...TEAM HEAT since '88!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not the same Nets squad we routed early in the season, and this will be a completely different game. They have great size at every position. Bogans is an ugly mfer. The last three sentences are all facts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Lopez, so they don't have all that much size.

Blatche is their next biggest person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to this game! Banane21.gifThis will be my first time of the big 3 era. Hopefully I'll see some LeBron and Wade fast break alley oops.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder will the WARDEN see any significant minutes tonight?SPO really need to start integrating JA into the rotation,it could pay dividends in the long run...TEAM HEAT since '88!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Lopez, so they don't have all that much size.

Blatche is their next biggest person.

Now we don't have to worry about lopez's 4 rebounds

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to this game! Banane21.gifThis will be my first time of the big 3 era. Hopefully I'll see some LeBron and Wade fast break alley oops.

Aye take some pics Bro!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if he played Miami, he would end up with 15. That is how it always has worked this year :D

he got 8 points, 7 rebounds last time he played us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

he got 8 points, 7 rebounds last time he played us.

You get what I'm saying though. I saw a stat that concerned me, in the 123 previous minutes Matt Bonner played before us he got 8 rebounds, and he got 10 rebounds in the 30 minutes he played against us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You get what I'm saying though. I saw a stat that concerned me, in the 123 previous minutes Matt Bonner played before us he got 8 rebounds, and he got 10 rebounds in the 30 minutes he played against us.

that proves it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deron and Lopez create some mismatches. Joe Johnson can take care of Wade without issue. I think this could be a Miami Loss if Nets play their cards right. Should be a fun game...it'll be close no doubt, could go either way. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deron and Lopez create some mismatches. Joe Johnson can take care of Wade without issue. I think this could be a Miami Loss if Nets play their cards right. Should be a fun game...it'll be close no doubt, could go either way. :D

Lopez is out genius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

our pattern is : beat bad teams by one or two points in the last seconds of the game and get blown out by good teams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Toronto Raptors Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Get your tickets now! The HEAT defeated the Raptors 104-89 in their last meeting on March 11. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What did the HEAT do well to get back on track against the Suns?
      Couper Moorhead: They played defense. Granted the starters came out a little slow on that end but once the bench unit was in towards the end of the first quarter the Suns were held to an offensive rating below 90 the rest of the way. Phoenix isn’t exactly an offensive powerhouse this time of year – Eric Bledsoe is being held out – and had plenty of unforced turnovers of their own but the opponent isn’t always the most important thing when it comes to getting back to your own established habits. Miami probably could have beat the Suns on Tuesday with scoring alone, but working on their game will help them in the long run with tougher opponents coming up.
      Joe Beguiristain: After a slow start to the contest, the HEAT got things going in the second quarter to take control of the game. In particular, Wayne Ellington caught fire towards the end of the period and helped Miami jump out to a 13-point lead at halftime. From that point on, the HEAT locked-in defensively (especially Hassan Whiteside) and held the Suns to just 39.5 percent shooting. Other than Whiteside, both Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson defended Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker quite well. In fact, Johnson led the team with five steals and helped Miami get some easy buckets in transition (the HEAT ended up with 19 fast break points on the night). In other words, Miami took care of business on its home floor against a depleted Phoenix squad. 
      2: Since Toronto didn’t have Kyle Lowry in the last meeting, what can we take away from that game?
      Couper: That the Raptors, despite an impressive comeback win over Chicago on Tuesday, miss Kyle Lowry. Last time these teams played the Raptors were playing on a back-to-back, which is always a factor, but despite a 26-point first quarter the Raptors never really seemed to get much of an offensive rhythm going as DeMar DeRozan was asked to do a ton of shot creation. Through the first three quarters, before the Raptors essentially played their bench the rest of the way, Toronto’s expected effective field-goal percentage, based on shot quality, was 47.6 – a number that would rank last in the league.
      Additionally, Toronto will be without the services of Serge Ibaka on Thursday. Ibaka was given a one-game suspension after an on-court incident with Robin Lopez on Tuesday.
      Joe: In that last matchup, the HEAT dominated the Raptors in nearly every facet. Six players scored in double-figures for Miami, while the team also held Toronto to just 37.5 percent shooting. Like Coup stated above, the Raptors did have some trouble initiating offense with Lowry out.
      As a whole, Toronto’s offense has dipped with its floor general out of the lineup. Before the All-Star Break, the team ranked fourth in offensive rating at 110.9 points per 100 possessions. In the 14 games since then without Lowry, the Raptors are ranked 15th with a 105.7 rating. Luckily, their defense has improved enough for them to go 9-5 since the break. New addition P.J. Tucker has had a lot to do with that, as the versatile forward is holding the opposition to 6.5 percentage points less than their usual field goal percentage since joining Toronto. We’ll see how things transpire on Thursday night.
      3: If Miami is without Hassan Whiteside (hand laceration), how will Miami adjust?
      Couper: Likely as they always have this season, with Willie Reed starting and heavy doses of James Johnson as a small-ball center. This isn’t the easiest matchup for that configuration considering Jonas Valanciunas is a load to deal with and Toronto can put out just as many versatile lineups as Miami with Ibaka, Patrick Patterson and new arrival P.J. Tucker. Even if Ibaka isn’t available, the Raptors can still play small with Miami. And of course Udonis Haslem is always an option, one that Erik Spoelstra can trust to adhere to the defensive system as well as anyone.
      Joe: If Whiteside can’t play on Thursday night, we’ll likely see Willie Reed in the starting lineup. In his five starts this season, Reed has averaged 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game on 68.6 percent shooting. After practice on Wednesday, the 26-year-old stated that his role doesn’t change in the starting lineup and that it’s still about bringing energy.
      “It’s not about the points. It’s about the energy that I can bring to the team, you know, holding down the inside [and] the paint, rebounding and trying to provide what Hassan provides.”
      Things will be tough with a skilled big in Jonas Valanciunas on the other side, but Reed has the mental makeup to get the job done.

      Highlights:
      March 11-Raptors at HEAT
      November 4-HEAT at Raptors
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won three of four and are 35-36 on the year. The Raptors have won four of five and stand at 42-29. Miami is 16-3 at home in 2017. DeMar DeRozan leads Toronto in scoring at 27.0 points per game.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 105.1 (17) HEAT Defense: 104.0 (5) Raptors Offense: 109.9 (5) Raptors Defense: 105.3 (10)
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      At 3:30 PM EST, I will ask a trivia question for a pair of tickets to tomorrow night’s game against the Raptors. Please keep in mind that you must be at least 18-years-old in order to qualify and must reside in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Monroe County. Also, you are ineligible if you've already won tickets this calendar month.
      Please only play/answer if you can attend and qualify based on these rules.
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Phoenix Suns 112-97 Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Hassan Whiteside led the way for the HEAT with 23 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com. 
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Get your tickets now! The HEAT fell to the Suns 99-90 in their last meeting on January 3. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on FOX Sports Sun begins at 7:00 PM. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What did you take away from Miami’s loss to Portland on Sunday?
      Couper Moorhead: That Damian Lillard is incredible, mostly. Watching Lillard expertly navigate the pick-and-roll, pulling up for effortless split-second threes and then threading passes to a rolling Jusuf Nurkic when Miami attempted to pressure higher on the floor was reminiscent of Steph Curry last season. Of course we can’t make that comparison if the shots aren’t falling as well and Lillard delivered with 9-of-12 from three and 49 points on 21 shots. In short, it was as good an offensive performance as you’ll see all year and a surprisingly energetic defensive one as well, especially considering Portland was on a back-to-back.
      On Miami’s side, their defense wasn’t quite as active as it had been lately and a number of players being in foul trouble didn’t help, but in the bigger picture it was clear there might be a bit of an adjustment period to playing without Dion Waiters. We’ll get to that in a moment.
      Joe Beguiristain: While the HEAT played well offensively for the most part, their defense wasn’t quite up to par. In particular, Damian Lillard had one heck of a performance, as he nearly tallied a career high and finished with 49 points on 14-of-21 shooting. Although the HEAT could have done a better job of defending him in the pick-and-roll, Lillard was in such a zone that it might not have made a difference.
      That said, Miami understands that it needs to get back to its identity and lock-in on the defensive end. From Erik Spoelstra to James Johnson, that message was echoed often after practice on Monday. With Phoenix struggling mightily on the offensive end as of late (especially with a bunch of key contributors out of the lineup), expect the HEAT to apply a lot of pressure from the get-go.  
      2: What changes have there been to the Suns roster lately?
      Couper: There’s been quite a few. Eric Bledsoe has been shut down for the rest of the season, as has Tyson Chandler. Brandon Knight has been experiencing back spasms and, as of now, doesn’t appear to be expected to play. Dragan Bender had ankle surgery in early February and has yet to return. And Devin Booker has also had an ankle injury and its unclear if he’ll be able to play Tuesday night. However you slice it, this isn’t going to be the same Phoenix team that beat Miami back in early January.
      Joe: Coup pretty much hit the nail on the head. The Suns have a multitude of guys either shut down for the season or nursing injuries. As such, Head Coach Earl Watson rolled with a starting unit of Tyler Ulis, Derrick Jones, T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss and Alen Len in Phoenix’s last game against the Pistons on March 19.
      Of those players, Warren and Chriss have been mainstays in the starting lineup for most of the year. Not to mention, they’ve also stepped up in the absence of a lot of the Suns’ playmakers. In fact, Warren is averaging 17.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game on 58.3 percent shooting since the All-Star Break. Chriss meanwhile, is posting 12.0 points, 5.3 boards and 1.8 blocks per contest on 52.2 percent shooting over that same timespan. 
      3: Are there any further adjustments you expect Miami to make with Dion Waiters out?
      Couper: Miami still managed to post 110.9 points per 100 possessions against Portland, but there clearly wasn’t as much of a rhythm or flow to the execution as there had been for most of the past two months. Just 43 percent of the HEAT’s baskets were assisted as whenever Goran Dragic was off the floor the offense often became James Johnson attacking from the perimeter and bullying his way to the rim. Johnson did that quite well, shooting 9-of-13, but it’s also the type of offense that becomes easier to defend the more often it’s used and more predictable it becomes. Not only did Miami miss Waiters’ dribble-penetration, spray passing and ability to space the floor off the ball, but he also gives Erik Spoelstra a playmaking option to stagger with Dragic so that, along with Miami’s bench, there are always multiple ballhandlers on the floor. Moving forward, we may see Spoelstra experiment a bit with the rotation to try and keep the ball moving. Or, as is often the case, Miami will simply have to be better on that end and work harder to adhere to their habits without one of the players who makes things work.
      Joe: In addition to getting back to their defensive principles, I expect the HEAT to try and get the ball moving a bit more on offense. After dishing out 29 assists in an offensive explosion against Minnesota, Miami had just 18 against Portland. Keep in mind that when the HEAT tally at least 26 assists, they’re 7-3 this season.
      You know Goran Dragić and James Johnson are going to attack the paint and collapse the defense, but Miami’s other wings also have to do their part and help set up their teammates too. Luckily enough, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson have had their moments over the past few weeks. T. Johnson tallied a career-high nine assists against the Pelicans on March 15, while Richardson has gradually improved since his return to the lineup from a foot injury. We’ll see if both guards can create a little bit more off the dribble to make up for the absence of Dion Waiters. 

      Highlights:
      January 3-HEAT at Suns
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT have won two of three and are 34-36. The Suns have dropped four straight and enter the contest at 22-48. Goran Dragić leads Miami in points (20.3) and assists (6.0) per game. Alex Len leads Phoenix with 1.2 blocks per contest.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 105.1 (16) HEAT Defense: 104.3 (6) Suns Offense: 103.8 (23) Suns Defense: 108.8 (26)  
       
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      At 3:45 PM EST, I will ask a trivia question for a pair of tickets to tomorrow night’s game against the Suns. Please keep in mind that you must be at least 18-years-old in order to qualify and must reside in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or Monroe County. Also, you are ineligible if you've already won tickets this calendar month.
      Please only play/answer if you can attend and qualify based on these rules.