What Went Wrong For Miami Heat In Loss to Brooklyn Nets?
What Went Wrong For The Miami Heat vs. The Brooklyn Nets?
A new NBA rivalry was born on Friday night as the Miami Heat visited the Brooklyn Nets. The game fell short of being eventful as the defending champs did not show up until the final 60 seconds, but it wasn't enough to escape the Big Apple with a win.
Brooklyn squeezed out a 101-100 victory, but the score does not depict how dominant and powerful the new-look Nets were. I know it is still incredibly early in the season and there is plenty of basketball to be played, but Brooklyn looked like a contender and Miami should be worried.
The new additions of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry pack a powerful bunch. Even the bench has some great pieces like Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston.
This is a scary team, and I believe they pose the biggest threat to Miami in the east. Their lineup is tall, strong and contain so many weapons. The Heat showed that they have no one in the frontcourt to match up with Brook Lopez or Garnett.
The season is young and luckily for Miami, they have plenty of time to correct their issues; however, they have a handful of problems to correct.
Brooklyn beat them in so many facets of the game Friday night. From rebounding to shooting, the Nets made a strong argument for their supremacy in the Eastern Conference.
These two teams still have three regular season meetings to look forward to and there is a good chance these new rivals will meet in the playoffs. Miami needs to learn from their mistakes one and prepare for the future because Brooklyn is their biggest challenge.
What exactly went wrong on Friday night for the Heat?
6. Lost the Rebound Battle
Rebounding was Miami's biggest problem all of last season, and it has proven to be a weak spot so far this year.
The champs were out-rebounded by the Nets 40-30. It is hard to lose the rebound battle and win the game. Rebounding leads to fast breaks, gives a team an extra possession and halts the opponent's offense.
It will be a long and tedious season if Miami cannot solve their rebounding woes early. Teams like the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Nets will beat up the Heat on the boards all year long if the big men don't step up.
5. Where Was Chris Bosh?
I thought this season was the rebirth of Chris Bosh. I thought the power forward vowed to have his best season and reclaim his stardom.
I have some bad news for you Chris, your redemption campaign is off to a rocky start and your performance against the Nets was forgettable at best. 18 points and four rebounds are unacceptable for someone who is considered a third of the "Big 3".
Bosh needs to fill the stat sheet with a double-double every game. He should be grabbing at least 10 rebounds every night and needs to be the leader of the frontcourt.
4. Poor Bench Production
I have praised the Heat bench all preseason and I bowed down to them after the terrific performance in the season-opening victory over the Chicago Bulls. How do they repay me? By taking Friday night off!
The bench contributions were a joke and deserve some of the blame. Miami's role players combined for 22 points as Shane Battier was held scoreless, while the Nets' bench contributed 36 points.
The "Big 3" can't do everything night after night. The bench needs to remain consistent all season.
3. Brooklyn's Size
From the point guard to the center and everywhere in between, the Nets are big. It seems like every position and player is strong and tall. This is a big problem for Miami and their small lineup.
It will be something to watch all season long as these two teams continue to battle. How will the Heat handle the size of the Nets? So far, there is no answer for that question.
2. Where Have All the Giants Gone?
We all know that Erik Spoelstra loves the smaller lineup and Miami thrives off the speed and agility it provides, but where are the Heat's big men? It's like they have all disappeared or have taken the beginning of the season off.
Udonis Haslem has provided little if anything through the first three games, Chris Andersen was non-existent against the Nets, Joel Anthony just made a brief debut and Bosh continued his subpar play.
Who knows, maybe Greg Oden can bring some life to the frontcourt for the champs. Whoever it may be, Miami needs someone to step up in the paint.
1. Digging an Early Hole
Miami's energy level to start a game has been an area for concern. They started slow in the opener against the Bulls, the Philadelphia 76ers jumped out to a 19-0 lead and the Nets led by nine after the first quarter.
All three games have one thing in common: Miami dug a hole early. Not only will strong starts help in individual games, but it will help in the long run. Instead of recovering from a slow start, the Heat could have a huge lead and rest their stars in the fourth quarter.
I don't know if Miami is bored or arrogant, but something needs to change.