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Danny

HEAT at Nets Official Game Thread and Preview

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(Photo Credit: Rocky Widner)

The Miami HEAT continue their four-game road trip tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. The HEAT (28-13) and the Nets (27-18) have met twice this season, with the HEAT winning both contests. Tip off is set for 8 PM; coverage on Sun Sports starts at 7:30 PM.

1: The HEAT have won their last two games decisively over the Nets. What can Brooklyn do differently?

Couper Moorhead: The short answer is they just have to score more points and turn the ball over less, but the Nets already have a strong offense. What really needs to improve is their defense, but just as with Roy Hibbert and the Pacers, the Nets are forced to play a safe, containment style of defense with Brook Lopez sitting back in the paint on pick and rolls, and while that can sometimes take a while for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to get used to, the result is always a constant barrage of high pick-and-rolls sending two of the league’s best finishers straight at a big man. Until the Nets find a better solution, the HEAT will have the advantage.

Danny Martinez: For the Nets to truly be a contender, they need to tighten things up on the defensive end. They enter tonight’s game as the 17th best defense in the NBA, which is too low. Against the HEAT, the Brooklyn bigs must find a way to thwart the HEAT’s basic pick-and-roll actions. Brook Lopez and company are good players, but they sometimes struggle with lateral quickness. If they can find a way to contain HEAT ball handlers, the Nets will significantly help their chances.

2: Since this is the last time these two teams will play in the regular season, do we have a good idea of what a playoff matchup would look like?

Couper: The Nets can score well enough to take a game or two, but it’s always going to come down defending that pick-and-roll. Then again, some of Brooklyn’s defensive issues could be mitigated in the playoffs when they play a tighter rotation – though the +/- numbers don’t show much of a difference between the starters and the bench unit.

Danny: Same answer as the first question. The defense is the big question mark when it comes to Brooklyn. More time together will surely help, as this team is still feeling its way out after adding a bunch of new pieces. A playoff matchup between the two would feature a lot of pick-and-roll from Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, with the hopes of getting Lopez moving around in space.

3: Is Deron Williams back to being the Deron Williams we all (like to) remember?

Couper: His playmaking is about where it was; it’s his shooting that is really coming around. In 14 January games, Williams is shooting 45 percent from the field and just above 43 percent from three-point range, up from generally unspeakable percentages in the two months before – as a result, he’s scoring about two more points per 36 minutes on the floor. Time will tell if the spike is an aberration or a return to form, but it’s probably important for us to stop looking for the Williams that played in Utah’s flex offense and, eventually, figure out who he’s going to be in Brooklyn – he’ll be there for a long time.

Danny: Well, I wouldn’t expect the three-point shooting in the month of January to be sustainable. Williams is shooting a scorching 43 percent on 78 attempts from deep this month. The last time he did that over a whole month was back in 2008, when he shot 45.7 percent on 35 attempts. Everything else looks sustainable, though. Brooklyn needs Williams, Lopez and Joe Johnson to produce at a high level to truly contend. Williams turning things around after a slow start is a big reason the Nets are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

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At this time of the year, on this road trip, these next 3 games are CRUCIAL for us. Given the amount of road losses we've accumulated thus far, it would be a huge boost for moral and our record going into the ASG in houston. I know we will have a fast start, then for whatever reason, fall behind in the second quarter. But I do hope the Heat will have a SUSTAINED effort defensively throughout the game.

Here's hoping for a win.

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What's up my fellow HEAT fans? Which HEAT team shows up tonight is the question that I'm personally pondering. It's hard to get amped for this game due to MIAMI's erratic play. I'm hoping MIAMI decide to play championship ball going into the all-star break. Closing this road trip out 3-1 will be respectful...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Broklyn. Hopefully it's a close game or a blowout(with Nets blowing out Heat) if any Heat fans here are going, let me know how it is, tickets were crazy expensive and I wasn't spend 100 dollars to see Nets from the last row of stadium, but from other popular teams coming this year and seeing those games I will say the atomsphere has been great with Net fans chanting. I'm sure there with be Heat fans, but the whole crowd won't be there to see the Heat like last years or years before. Should be exciting game for fans of both teams hopefully.

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How dare can you open that thread with a picture of Almario "the brick" Chalmers ?

He will have a night off, at least he is showing some consistency on that... :rolleyes:

Lets go HEAT !

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It's been too long! These long waits between Heat games makes me all stir crazy! With that said, I hope we crush them just like we did the past two times this year.

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Reggie Evans talked alot of crap discrediting the Heat 2012 championship saying that it didn't count because it was a 66 game season, tonight the Heat must make a example of him and the Nets and I know its just another regular season game but really he must know better than saying such a thing about the NBA Champions. Cant remember ever a opposing player talk so bad about a NBA Championship team on the day his team plays them.

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Damn cant believe the Heat would high five this clown after those disrespectful comments.

NBA is starting to look like boxing, all this trash talk is part of the show

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Nice to see Birdman out there but man he has no chemistry with anyone out there. Gotta wait a little for him to learn the system, But I like the experimentation though.

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