The Nets are riding a four-game winning streak while the Heat are coming off an embarrassing loss against the New York Knicks last night. LeBron James continues to be the most dominant player in the NBA. His sidekick Dwyane Wade is fighting personal issues and knee problems, but they have still managed to squeak out an 27-9 record.
Deron Williams will not be available for this game as he is still nursing his bothersome ankles. Shaun Livingston has proved to be a reliable backup. He does not provide much on the offensive end, but defensively he can give match-up problems for many teams. Kevin Garnett will need to continue to provide a strong inside presence in the middle to keep the Heat from attacking the rim. Paul Pierce will need to channel his inner defensive beast to lock down James.
The first match-up didn’t bode too well for the Heat as the Nets came away with an 101-100 victory at Miami. With that win the Nets were riding high and many thought we were about to see a changing of the guard in the East. But as we have witnessed this season that one game did not have any lasting effects on either team.
During their winning streak, the Nets have managed to defeat playoff teams and bottom feeders, and now they will have their toughest test tonight. This game will measure where the Nets stand as a new and improved unit. The Heat are facing a tougher battle as they do no want to be the team that came into the New York area and lost both to teams that are considered lottery bound. The Nets have a slight advantage as the Heat are coming off a hard fought game last night while the Nets were able to rest.
If the Nets come out focused like they have since the flip of the calendar, the Nets will end the night on a five-game wining streak and the Heat will leave the Metro area shaking their head in disbelief.