Nets vs. Heat: Who’s Got The Edge?

Erik Spoelstra
Jason Kidd (far) and Erik Spoelstra (near) go head-to-head in a best-of-seven. (AP)

Paul Pierce vs. Udonis Haslem

Udonis Haslem, Dwyane Wade
Udonis Haslem (left of Dwyane Wade) (AP)

Haslem: 42 G, 14 GS, 13.3 MPG, 3.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.3 BPG, .488 FG%, .000 3P%, .595 FT%, 9.9 PER
Pierce: 71 G, 64 GS, 28.1 MPG, 13.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG, .450 FG%, .382 3P%, .835 FT%, 16.7 PER

Haslem is a fill-in: with Wade hurting and Shane Battier relegated to the bench in the past few games, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has turned to Haslem to fill the role. Whether you put Battier (who may start tonight) or Haslem at this position, both don’t hold a candle to Pierce, who’s playing as the team’s nominal power forward.

The 36-year-old Pierce has adjusted to playing bigger players by playing limited minutes, shooting from outside, and scoring in his usual crafty ways. He’ll have an advantage on everyone he’ll match up with tonight except LeBron James. After a quick-then-slow start to the season for Pierce’s shooting, he’s hit on 43.7 percent of his three-point attempts since the beginning of February.

Pierce loves these games: He’s averaged 24-5-3 on .538-.471-.875 shooting in three games against the Heat this season. Unless James hounds him, he should be in for another big night.


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