There could be a new powerhouse rivalry in the Eastern Conference. It is between the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets. Lebron James added fuel to the rivalry’s fire by criticizing Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and their reaction to Ray Allen leaving Boston.
James should choose his words wisely. You don’t want to wake up a sleeping giant. Even in a preseason game, Pierce and Garnett were playing James physical as if they had a chip on their shoulder. Pierce shoved James to the ground at one point and Garnett gave James a forearm shiver.
This should be a good old-fashioned old-school basketball rivalry. Many pundits believe the Nets represent the biggest threat to dethrone the Heat as three-time Eastern Conference champions and a perennial powerhouse.
If that is to happen, it will have to happen now. Garnett and Pierce aren’t getting any younger and the Heat looks as stocked as ever to make another title run. On this night, the Nets handled the Heat with relative ease in a game where starters for both sides saw limited minutes.
Clearly, this rivalry will take on added meaning when the regular season and even postseason comes around. The Heat are the team that every other franchise in the league is gunning for. The Nets are one of the few franchises that have the horses to challenge them in the East.
If the preseason game was any indication, this should be a physical, blood-boiling rivalry in the months and years to come. Look for some classic games from these two teams when the regular season rolls around.