A night after the Nets’ triumph over the Raptors they are back in action to face last season’s Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. The game is in New Jersey with a tip-off time set for 7:30 PM.
- The Heat are no longer expected to be short-handed as both of their superstars, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James are now listed as probable for tonight’s game. Deron Williams, ever the competitor, would rather play Miami at full strength: “I like playing against them. I don’t want to beat a team when they’re down. I like when everybody’s out there. Hopefully those guys play. We’ll see where we’re at.”
- The Nets are dealing with injury issues of their own: Mehmet Okur (back spasms) and Marshon Brooks (ankle) and Damion James (foot) are all doubtful. Okur left last night’s game with the spasms, while Brooks was listed as a game-time decision for the Raptors game and will likely be the same for tonight’s game. I would not expect Damion James to play.
- Return of Morrow? After starting the season unusually cold, Morrow’s shooting hand warmed-up considerably last night, connecting on six three-pointers. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up the hot shooting, but if Brooks is ruled out, he’ll certainly get the opportunity at plenty of minutes.
- Another thing to keep an eye on will be how the Heat handle Deron Williams defensively. Williams was at his playmaking best last night and if Wade and LeBron are both out, it leaves the potential match-ups for Williams pretty thin. Mario Chalmers and rookie Norris Cole I would imagine are each going to get the bulk of the assignment and if that’s the case, I’d look for Williams to have another big day. The Heat could perhaps use Shane Batttier as well.
- DeShawn Stevenson played his best game in a Nets uniform yesterday. He started, played 33 minutes, made five three-pointers, but also made his presence felt on the defensive end, dogging DeMar DeRozan. For a team so starved for scoring as the Nets are, contributions from Stevenson are a welcome sight.
- Welcome back Brook Lopez! Well…not to the court, but the big man is expected to be in attendance and on the bench for tonight’s game. The first time he will be around the team since his foot surgery. It will be interesting to see what kind of progress (if any) has been made in his recovery.
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