After beginning the season 2-0 against two decent teams, the Nets finally face their first mega-test of the season in taking on the Miami Heat. This is going to be a difficult one to win just due to the sheer talent on Miami’s squad. Still, here are a few things to look out for:
- Dominate the inside. One of the biggest weaknesses in this Miami team is their lack of a true post defender at the 5. Troy Murphy is still out, but Brook Lopez has looked dominant offensively in these first two games and could provide a huge boost if he shows off the arsenal he brought to the table in the first two games. Averaging 27 points after the first two victories, another big showing could be key in keeping this game close.
- Attack the basket. Devin Harris has played more like 2008-2009 Devin Harris than he ever did last year in these first two games. He has a definite quickness advantage over anyone Miami could throw at him at point – Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo won’t be able to keep up with him. I hope to see a bunch of pick & rolls with him and the two big men on the floor, since that would utilize our biggest strengths (interior scoring & PG slashing) against their two biggest weaknesses (interior defense, play from PG’s).
- Push with the second unit. Jordan Farmar, Terrence Williams, and Derrick Favors are three excellent athletes who have been gelling in the first two games. When Miami’s starters sit, the Nets have to take advantage and push the tempo. There are a lot of easy baskets to be found – let’s hope they find them.
- The Big Three. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh. Duh. No explanation needed here.
Also, I’ll be chatting occasionally during the game over at ESPN’s Daily Dime Live. Come check it out, because really, what else do you have to do at 1 PM on a Sunday?