It’s not often LeBron James gets involved in some trash-talking battle with other players, but still, despite being a three-time MVP and NBA Champion (not to mention Finals’ MVP), it seems like the star of the Miami Heat needs to prove something to someone different each single night.
This time it was Reggie Evans, who decided that after losing twice in double digits it might be a good idea to keep on taunting a much better team, downplaying their ability as champions, and James’ ability as well. The response? Another easy win for the Miami Heat against the Brooklyn Nets, making it 13 in a row against the franchise.
I let my game do the talking. When we’re playing at a high level, that’s what we’re capable of doing. o we showed tonight what we’re capable of, both defensively and offensively. The whole package, everything, we had it going tonight.
Coming off a slightly surprising loss to the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat beat the Nets 105-85, led by LeBron James, having a normal night by his standards, with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. The Heat played extremely well during the third and first quarters, outscoring the Nets in those two 66-34. Giving up the other two quarters didn’t really matter. The Heat had no problem with the rebounding, keeping big-mouthed Reggie Evans at 0 offensive boards after all of his bragging and won the rebounding battle 38-34.
For yet another time, the Heat show that when they come into a game fully focused, they’re extremely hard to beat. Their defense was all over the place, limiting the Nets to 44.9% from the field and only 5-17 from beyond the arc while forcing them again to turn the ball over 19 times. Miami scored 20 fast break points and 25 off the Nets’ turnovers.
It’s the first game in the arena, had some good old-fashioned smack talk before the game, it was great. Guys were motivated tonight. We’re trying to find a way to bring that energy every night. That’s all we talked about in the locker room was `Listen, we can’t turn the ball over,’ and to play that well to start the game off and to give the lead back and it’s tied coming into halftime, that’s not what we want to do. Our job, we want to get better on the road, not get worse, so I thought we took a step forward.
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points on a very good shooting night from him, while Chris Bosh (16) and Mario Chalmers (11) also scored in double figures. Everyone from the bench chipped in a little bit, but there was no real need for anyone, including Ray Allen, to stand out offensively with the defense doing such a great job at stopping the Nets.
Energy like this every night? Hard to see that happening. The Heat aren’t the youngest team in the world and even the more energetic teams can’t keep up this level of intensity on defense and focus on offense 82 times a season. There’s a reason why even the greatest teams never won more than 67-69 games, while only the Chicago Bulls of the 1995-1996 season finished with an incredible 70-12 record. Some actually dreamed the latest version of the Lakers might be that good. Joke’s on them I guess.