So much for that 4-0 season sweep ehh?
If you were one of those fans that were scared to face the Brooklyn Nets because they “dominated” us in the regular season then its okay, you can come out now. You can go back to being the “Cocky Heat fan” (shot out 790 for the term) we need you to be. Here are some things that can help you get back there.
The Nets are an experiment. They are a team that was “constructed” to beat the Heat. The only problem is that their main advantage over the Heat is out for the season. That “big” advantage’s name is Brook Lopez. They now have to rely on 2 former stars that are 3-4 years removed from their prime and a hobbled former superstar in Deron Williams. I know what you are thinking, “Joe Johnson is good and they still have him”. The short answer is… yes they do and?
Joe Johnson is a phenomenal 1-on-1 player and an incredible offensive presence towering over most guards at 6’8. But he is also a ball stopper which in turn drains the clock and messes up any offensive set or flow your team needs to effectively get open looks. Don’t believe me? Ask the Hawks. The Heat shouldn’t have a problem handling this version of the Brooklyn Nets.
After being the only team in the first round of the playoffs to sweep their opponent, there was worry that rust would affect Heat’s team chemistry. The opposite was true. The Heat looked fresh, renewed and motivated. We can credit Erik Spoelstra for implementing a full contact practice to simulate game time intensity, but thats not a sexy choice. Instead, we can blame it on the Heat having to hear all the skeptics talking on how they couldn’t win a game against Brooklyn all season and how that fueled them to have a “statement” game. The bottom line is that Miami Heat playoff basketball is much more furious than their regular season version.
This Season Against The Nets In Chart Form Via ESPN:
|Pt diff PG||+3.5||+24|
|* Four games
–ESPN Stats & Information
Now, lets get into last night’s game.
The first and second quarter of the game were played at Brooklyn’s pace. Still, the Heat outperformed them in the their half court sets using Wade as a distributor and James setting up deep inside the paint (an adjustment from the regular season). In the third quarter, Miami added some speed and went on a 24-9 run to blow the game open and coast to a 21 point victory. Lebron James was his regular phenomenal and efficient self. He did a lot of his damage posting up opposing Nets players, which presented tough match ups all throughout the floor and created opportunities for Battier (who was reactivated and effective on defense) and for Ray Allen who resurrected (Jesus reference) by adding 17 points. I was personally amazed at the playmaking ability from D-Wade though. He posted a plus minus of 22, the best in the team overall. In other words, the Heat were at their very best when Wade was on the floor.
MIA – D. Wade 14 Pts, 4 rebs, 5 assists 2 steals
BKN – J.Johnson 17 points 4 rebounds.
NEXT GAME: Game 02, Thursday May 8th at 7:00 PM