Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat Preview: Matchups, Forecasts, & Middle Names

Paul Pierce, LeBron James
Truth, meet King. (AP)

C: Chris Bosh vs. Brook Lopez

Crook Bopez

While the other four positions have a relatively clear advantage one way or the other, this is a tight contest. The two players, despite playing the same position, are very different stylistically. Lopez is one of the league’s preeminent post and inside scorers and a monster around the basket; Bosh is an all-around talent who can shoot all over the floor and play swarming defense.

But most importantly: tonight’s face game will be SERIOUS. Bosh & Lopez have arguably the two most photographable (notice I didn’t say “photogenic”) faces in the league. Bosh’s best faces are done for the camera, while Lopez just looks goofy. Don’t believe me? Here’s forty examples from last year.

Here’s one from preseason:

shucks evan, give me my digimon back (AP)

Hell, here’s one from Wednesday.
Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao, Brook Lopez

While I give Lopez the edge in the face department — it’s just natural for him — Bosh gets an ever-so-slight edge as a player. Though Lopez’s defense has progressed to respectable, Bosh’s spryness allows him to anchor a revolutionary two-way style of play instilled by Heat coach Eric Spoelstra. But the two are both effective enough that that could change on any given night.

Head-to-head: This is ugly. Bosh is 10-2 against Lopez lifetime, holding Lopez to just 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game on 47.5% shooting, while Bosh averages 20.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game on 52% shooting against Lopez. As last season was Lopez’s first foray into playoff basketball, the two have never met in the playoffs.

Middle name alert: While I love that Brook Lopez’s middle name is both a shout-out to his brother (it’s “Robert,” and his brother’s middle name is “Byron”) and means his first two initials are the same as Batman and Robin, Chris Bosh’s middle name is “Wesson.” There’s no topping a middle name like Wesson. Also, how has “Chris’n’Wesson” never taken off as a Bosh nickname?


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Next: Bench vs. Bench

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