The aspiring and expensive project the Brooklyn Nets are trying to get off the ground didn’t work out too well on the seasons’ opening night, although the Miami Heat are also heading into this game following a loss. However, LeBron James won’t show up to this game without Dwyane Wade.
The Miami Heat lost 114-110 to the Philadelphia 76ers as Dwyane Wade took the night off, which will happen quite a lot when it’s time for back-to-back games. LeBron James did lead the Heat with 25 points, but he was only 1-of-6 from the field in that final quarter, as the Sixers stormed by the slightly jaded-looking Miami Heat.
The Brooklyn Nets also had a disappointing start with a loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and playing against the Heat isn’t an indication that things are going to change: They’ve lost their last 13 games against Miami, who usually get quite a lot of support when they played in Brooklyn last year.
However, the rivalry might take it up a notch with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce who love to stir things up in order to take away from the Heat’s natural talent advantage. The Nets have issues with Deron Williams’ ankle (again), not to mention Garnett not quite up to play more than 25-30 minutes a night, although the deep bench should be able to handle that flaw.
With Dwyane Wade rested and fit to play in full throttle mode, the Nets will need more from Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce, who probably will see the ball more in their hands than before due to Williams’ injury. The Heat have shown a weakness to quick basketball against the 76ers and some problems in the paint, but the Nets aren’t that fast-playing of a team, and Brook Lopez isn’t the kind of bruising center who poses too much of a problem when it comes to scoring on him or grabbing rebounds.
Prediction – The Miami Heat rarely lose two games in a row during the Big 3 era, and a rested Dwyane Wade means they should have enough advantages across the floor against a Brooklyn Nets team that’s going to need some time before they look like the title contenders they think they are.