March 12th, 2014
W2W4: Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat
The Brooklyn Nets will be heading to Miami for the first time this season to play the two-time defending champions the Heat on Wednesday night. The Nets are one of the two teams in the NBA that have beaten the Heat twice this season along with the Chicago Bulls, but both of those victories came at the Barclays Center.
- Atlantic Watch
After what was a huge win for the Nets on Monday night, beating the Atlantic Division leading Toronto Raptors in a very close game, the Nets will have a tough task of staying within three games of them when Wednesday is all said and done. The Heat are one of the best home teams in basketball, as they own a (25-4) record, and the Nets have struggled on the road all season with a (12-19) record, which is not a good recipe for Brooklyn. If they decide to scoreboard watch a bit in this game they will also see the Raptors playing the Detroit Pistons in what should surely be a home win for Toronto, which could put the Nets back into a four-game deficit with a loss in Miami.
- Stopping the King
LeBron James is once again having a fantastic season for the Heat, as to nobody’s surprise he is right there in the hunt for yet another MVP award. James is averaging 27 points, seven rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game, and in the two meetings against Brooklyn, he is averaging 31 points on 57% shooting. Few people can be expected to guard LeBron James one on one, but given the task of slowing him down will most likely be Shaun Livingston to start, and if Andrei Kirilenko can play with his sprained ankle will surely get some time guarding James. The Nets defense has been very good this season, especially lately holding their opponents to under 100 points in their last seven games, but that streak will be put to the test on Wednesday, as Miami is 9th in the NBA averaging 104 points per game.
- Batman’s Sidekicks
When playing the Heat obviously James is the main concern, but teams certainly can’t sleep on their other two All-Stars in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who are both having good years in their own right. Miami has done a good job giving Wade rest, and it has shown in his stats, as in 45 games he is averaging 19.3 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game. Bosh is by far the best third option in the NBA, as he is averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game.