Game 54 Preview Vs. Miami Heat

So a win huh?  That was pretty exciting.  I said it in the comments of one of the posts today that we shouldn’t shrug off a win against the Bobcats as the Nets beating a crappy team.  The truth is that the Bobcats are a pretty quality opponent, and their loss to the Nets last night actually dropped them back to .500.  Oh and they beat the Heat by about 40 points a month ago (now I am not saying the Nets are 40+ points better than the Heat but this is just to say that the Bobcats are good).  So how did the Nets beat a quality team?  Well, they have been doing the same thing that they have been doing for the most part during this 7 game stretch.  The only difference was last night they did it for 4 quarters instead of three.

Moving onto tonight.  The Heat beat the Nets by 1, and they needed two incredibly lucky three pointers to do so.  I think that this is another game that the Nets can win, only if they play another full 48 minutes though..oh and oh yeah, the return of Rafer Alston!

Onto the lineups…

Devin Harris vs. Rafer Alston

Devin Harris looked like his former self last night.  The numbers don’t really show it, but he was under control, and more importantly only tried to take over when he needed to.  He ran the offense correctly and was finding guys in proper spots.  He will be going against Rafer, who actually has been playing pretty well in Miami.  Hopefully all the bad vibes he had in the Izod Center return to him now that he is a visitor.

Advantage:  Devin Harris

Dywane Wade vs. Courtney Lee

Dywane Wade is playing some really good basketball, and he scares the crap out of me.  However Courtney has been playing well on both sides of the ball, so he might be able to hold Wade down.

Advantage:  Dywane Wade

Jarvis Hayes vs. Quentin Richardson

Mark pointed out to me that Hayes is averaging 10.6 PPG as a starter.  The most important thing to me is that he seems to be a stabilizing factor for this Nets lineup.  You know exactly what you are going to get from him.  A couple of threes, a couple of jumpers, and hard work on the court.  I love CDR and think he should play more, but he has been so inconsistent as of late.  You don’t know if you are going to get the attacking CDR (that puts up a lot of points) or the passive CDR who only takes 2 shots in 30 minutes.  I think that is why Kiki is sticking with Jarvis here.

Advantage:  Push

Yi vs. Micheal Beasley

Beasley looked pretty good during the rookie-sophmore game, but his biggest problem is that it takes him a ton of shots to get his points.  With Dywane Wade on the same team as him, he isn’t going to get the shots he needs to be a 20+ PPG scorer.  He still is a dangerous player though, and if he gets hot, he can really hurt the Nets.  Also, Yi seems to be the best match-up for him (I think he is too athletic for Hump), so that really scares me as well.

Advantage:  Micheal Beasley

Brook Lopez vs. Jermaine O’Neal

Brook was on his way to a really special game, but foul trouble seemed to derail that.  He gets another favorable match-up tonight too.  Jermaine O’Neal is too small to defend Brook in the block, so if he gets the ball in the post (and stays out of foul trouble) he has the chance to have a really big game.

Advantage:  Brook Lopez