The Brooklyn Nets travel to visit the Miami Heat tonight and the best record in the Eastern Conference is on the line after the Nets just put together their best month as a franchise at 11-4 and won their fifth game in a row by beating the Orlando Magic 98-86 last night.
Let that sink in for a moment Nets fans before we move on.
I know it is only December 1st but Nets fans could not have expected more from a brand new team, in a brand new building (7-1 at home), and a roster that was overhauled in the summer. They play the Heat tonight to try to be on top of the Eastern Conference standings after 16 games.
After the win in Orlando Deron Williams was asked if they were anxious to get back at Miami, “We are very anxious, I think we are a different team this time then when we were there, not just because we didn’t have Gerald (Wallace) but we are playing a lot better. But now we don’t have Brook so we just got to be really focused and know we are going to have to come in and play our best basketball game tomorrow to get a win down there.”
Williams went on about the teams depth, “We have a very deep team and thats what we’ve been banking on all year, if a guy goes out here and there we have other guys that can step in and fill in for them. Its definitely a good problem to have and to have a lot of good guys that can play on the floor.”
That depth is needed again as Brook Lopez will not be playing in his second straight game after suffering a mild sprain of the same ankle he hurt last year. This injury is a ligament sprain to the mid-foot and nothing to do with last years fifth metatarsal injury in the same foot that sidelined him for all but five games of the year.
Andray Blatche made his first Nets start last night in Orlando in place of Lopez and scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds although he did have a few questionable shot attempts but with the way he is playing lately you cant question the results.
Blatche remembered the last Heat game and said, “We owe them one. And everybody in this locker room knows that so we want to go in with an attitude and a chip on our shoulders.”
Gerald Wallace had a spectacular night last night with 20 points going 5-6 from 3-point land and added four rebounds and three assists to go with his stellar defense and tenacity. “LeBron is LeBron. He’s just like everybody else,” Wallace said when asked about the tonight’s Heat game, “You need to make him work for his points.”
The Nets hope to continue their hot play and also their hot 3-point shooting after they have made 21 of 44 in the last two games. This will be a key for the Nets to come out of Miami with a tie for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
If the Nets can come out of this game tonight with a WIN, as a good friend of mine Moke Hamliton of SNYNets.com said, “Stop the presses!”
John Paolantonio is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the Brooklyn Nets. Follow John on twitter @pingshoops and like his page on FaceBook for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.