Heat Bench vs. Nets Bench
Heat Bench: 30.3 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 5.9 APG, 3.0 SPG, 2.0 BPG, .464 FG%, .360 3P%, .758 FT%
Nets Bench: 38.4 PPG, 17.0 RPG, 7.3 APG, 3.6 SPG, 1.6 BPG, .451 FG%, .356 3P%, .687 FT%
The team’s benches are a bit in flux, as both the Nets and Heat have had to experiment with different lineups this season. For the Nets, they’ve replaced Brook Lopez with Shaun Livingston and needed Mason Plumlee to step up with Kevin Garnett sidelined; in Miami, Dwyane Wade has missed 25 games this season with various injuries, most recently a hamstring issue.
But the core still remains: the Nets have a bench mob led by the enigmatic Andray Blatche, the trigger-happy Marcus Thornton, the also trigger-happy Mirza Teletovic, and the versatile Andrei Kirilenko. The Heat counter with the one-man block-party Chris Andersen (listed as questionable), the historic shooter Ray Allen, the smart-but-limited Shane Battier, and the diminutive but talented Norris Cole.
Partly due to their starting lineup’s age, the Nets rely more on their depth: their bench players play more minutes per game than every team except the San Antonio Spurs. But they’ve also relied on their depth because they have it available: the team has espoused often that they’re never sure who’s going to go off because they have so many options.
If this game comes down to bench production, my guess is Brooklyn will have the edge.