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Joe B.

Brooklyn Nets at Miami HEAT Game Thread and Preview

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Photo Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant

 

The Miami HEAT host the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The HEAT fell to the Nets 104-95 in overtime the last time the two met on January 10. Tip off is set for 7:00 PM. Television coverage on Sun Sports begins at 6:30 PM. Listen to the action live on the new FM 104.3 and AM 790 The Ticket.

 

1: How did the HEAT right the ship against the Wizards?

 

Couper Moorhead: It wasn’t a perfect game, but the HEAT got better as things went along and by the end of the third quarter the defense was intense and just about everyone was diving for loose balls. Stretches of offense left quite a bit to be desired – it was a second night of a back-to-back after a three-game road trip, after all – but when you hold John Wall to his first career game without a single field goal inside of the three-point arc, you’re probably doing enough right to win. 

 

Joe Beguiristain: The HEAT came into the game very business-like and amped up their defensive intensity against the Wizards. Washington came into the game as one of the hotter teams in the league, winning eight of their last nine and shooting a combined 50.9 percent from the field in their last six. On Monday night, the Wizards had no answers for the HEAT’s defense as they shot a measly 40.4 percent. Dwyane Wade also had a phenomenal fourth quarter on both ends of the floor which essentially put the Wizards away.

2: The Nets have looked like a new team lately. What has changed?

Couper: Apart from being relatively healthy despite Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko both missing Monday’s game against Toronto, the Nets have adjusted to a different playing style in the wake of Brook Lopez’ foot surgery just before Christmas. In fact they’re almost as positionless as the HEAT these days, throwing out flexible lineups with Paul Pierce, Kirilenko and Garnett all taking turns in the frontcourt positions. Those lineups have helped the floor spacing, but it’s the defense that has truly taken off. Since January 1st, about a week after Lopez’ injury, the Nets have the fifth-best defense in the league. In Garnett’s minutes – about 20 per game – the Nets defend at a level that would top even the Indiana Pacers. 

 

Joe: When Brook Lopez went down in late December with a broken foot, nobody expected Brooklyn to make a turnaround and recover from its abysmal 9-17 record. Instead, the Nets have gone 22-9 in the New Year, which is the best record in the Eastern Conference during that span. A lot of that has to do with better defensive play.

 

For the first two months of the season, Brooklyn gave up 106.7 points per 100 possessions and subsequently went 10-21. Since then has been a whole other story as the Nets have given up just 101.1 points per 100 possessions.

 

The ageless Paul Pierce has been huge for the Nets on the defensive end and Kevin Garnett has stepped up after a disappointing start. However, Garnett has missed the past six games and will miss the game tonight with an ailing back. Andrei Kirilenko suffered an ankle injury on Sunday and might play.

 

Despite their issues and injuries early on, the Nets have already defeated the HEAT twice this season. Look for the Heat to come out very focused and out for revenge as they were on Monday night.

3: What should we be watching in this game that could be a precursor to a potential playoff matchup?

Couper: There’s the fun stuff, such as whether or not Erik Spoelstra has Chris Bosh defend Joe Johnson for a lengthy stretch as he did in early January, and then there’s the more technical items. Assuming everyone is ready to go, what lineups does Spoelstra use when Brooklyn goes quasi-small? Do they use those Bosh-Chris Andersen lineups to keep Garnett away from the point of attack in pick-and-rolls? Can the HEAT keep the ball away from the rim – with a particular focus on recently-acquired Marcus Thornton – and force Brooklyn into the jumpers that would be difficult to sustain over the course of a playoff series? Do the HEAT defend Deron Williams with the same aggressive tactics they tend to employ against attacking point guards? Again, both teams need to be healthy for us to begin answering these questions, but they’re questions that could pop up again.

 

Joe: The LeBron James-Paul Pierce matchup is always fun to watch. While Pierce has had to play the four recently due to all the injuries on the Nets, you can expect both players to guard each other at some point in the game and in a potential playoff matchup. Pierce has averaged 21 points in the two games against the HEAT this season and always plays at a different level when playing Miami.

 

Another thing to take a look at it is how Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers defend Deron Williams, who is still a threat despite the fact that he’s having a disappointing season. Williams has picked it up recently, averaging 17 points and 5.4 assists per game in his past ten contests. Perhaps he can continue the improved play into the playoffs. 

 

Highlights:

http://www.nba.com/video/games/nets/2014/01/10/0021300537-mia-bkn-recap.nba

http://www.nba.com/video/games/nets/2013/11/01/0021300028-mia-bkn-recap.nba

 

Game Notes:

  • Since January 1, the Nets have gone 22-9 which is the best record in the Eastern Conference during that span.
  • Kevin Garnett will miss the game due to an ailing back and Andrei Kirilenko might play with a hurt ankle. 
  • The HEAT have won eight straight against the Nets at AmericanAirlines Arena. 

 

Efficiencies (Rank):

  • HEAT Offense: 110 (1)

  • HEAT Defense: 102.9 (12)

  • Nets Offense: 103.1 (T-16)

  • Nets Defense: 103.9 (15)

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Well I'm hoping the Nets win, but feeling is they lose, if AK isn't playing deff write it as a lose. If he plays gives me hope. Hopefully either way it's a good game and once it's over I'll be pumped because the next time they play I will be at the game. And a vacation to see the Nets is my lifelong goal.

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Revenge?

why would heat want Revenge? Actually if anyone wants revenge prob Lebron, because he fouled out. Other players on heat played good, double ot last time. As long as heat don't get cocky and expect a win I think they win this. Just my feeling

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I'd expect MIAMI to win this game handily, while maintaining intense focus. This is a game that MIAMI must serve notice to the Nets that this ain't really what ya want, just in case their feeling cocky about those two wins. MIAMI should want to run them out of the TripleA. Just win...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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I'd expect MIAMI to win this game handily, while maintaining intense focus. This is a game that MIAMI must serve notice to the Nets that this ain't really what ya want, just in case their feeling cocky about those two wins. MIAMI should want to run them out of the TripleA. Just win...TEAM HEAT since '88!

I really don't think the Nets will be cocky because they beat the Heat twice and once without Deron and at home. Just IMO, hopefully a great game like the last two games with these team. Off topic about the teams playing, aren't they wearing nickname Jerseys again

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This game should be a win at all costs. They've beaten us twice already and we're at home, so the focus should be intense tonight.

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All most gametime, and I'm interested in watching MIAMI's point guards. Point guard play for MIAMI has been atrocious lately and MIAMI will need RIO/COLE to be efficient on offense, and pesky on defense. Let's go MIAMI...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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- stop acting like pussies

- break somebodies knees to frce them into retirement

- hurt people on the other team

- foul out

- curse at fans

- piss on the hardwood

- **** everything

 

For the breaking somebodies Knees that's goes for Nets players too right? I mean fair is fair, if Heat players trying to get Nets into retirement well then I guess as Wade tries to go to basket then a Net player can break his knees right?

 

Hurt people on Nets-Well I guess you want Heat players not playing the next game

 

piss on the hardwood? well it is the Heat arena if they want to pee on their home floor they have that right.

 

Foul Out, Lebron knows something about that

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Well since Nets won't have AK, I'm going to say they lose, yup writing them off before the game, just a Nets fan way. I kinda hope they lose this game since I'll be at the next Heat  vs Nets Game in April and if the Heat lose tonight April could be bad, so get on Heat's good side a little is what I say, if they win ain't complaining though, if they can hang with them and lose I'll be happy

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