Brooklyn Nets Have Almost Nothing To Lose In First Matchup With Miami Heat

By Mike B. Ruiz
Steve Mitchell-USA Today Sports

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez may have called tonight’s matchup with the two-time defending champion Miami Heat a “statement game,” but oddly enough, the Nets actually don’t have much to lose.

Reason being is that there exists a very strange dynamic that many people might not account for heading into this game.

If the Nets do win, no matter the margin, they’ll send their statement to the big, bad Heat in extra large font. LeBron James and company dominated the Nets last season, and finally breaking through against them would be monumental for their confidence moving forward.

But unless the Nets get absolutely throttled – which would be inexcusable considering the pieces they brought in this summer – how can they attach big-time significance to it? Head coach Jason Kidd will be serving the final game of his DUI suspension. Deron Williams only returned to the court from a lengthy ankle sprain last week. It would be Andrei Kirilenko’s first game action in quite a while after dealing with back spasms if he does play.

Obviously these three are integral pieces to Brooklyn’s success. If they lose but remain very competitive from start to finish, there’s no reason for them hang their heads over it for too long. Would it be truly reasonable for anyone to expect the Nets to be better than the Heat under these sorts of circumstances?

And let’s not forget, the Nets only put this band together a few months ago. They’re not supposed to be at their very best by the second game of the season. It’s going to take a little while.

But if the Nets somehow find a way to pull this off tonight, the statement they’ll send to both the Heat and the entire league will definitely be both red and in all caps.

Mike B. Ruiz is a Brooklyn Nets writer for Follow him on Twitter @mikebruiz and “Like” him on Facebook.

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