The Heat were coming off an embarrassing loss against the New York Knicks the night before and were possibly seeing an easy win against the Nets. Brooklyn was playing without Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, and the chances of the Heat losing two straight to Eastern Conference bottom-feeders was not happening.
But this is why they play the games. The Nets have been a different team since they entered 2014, and they were expected to come crashing back down to reality against LeBron James and the mighty Heat. But Jason Kidd and his gang of injury-riddled underachievers had other plans for how this game was going to turn out.
The Heat were without a few starters themselves as Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier sat out with various injuries. Shaun Livingston is one of the reasons why the Nets have been on a tear lately as he has ran the offense in the same manner that Williams would if he was in the lineup. The defense has been the key to their current five-game winning streak, and they might not have held the Heat to 90 points or less but they made stops when they had to.
Kidd has to be feeling good lately after a disastrous first couple of months. His team is now the talk of the league. They made it past their hard part of the schedule, and their next few games are very winnable. In the next few weeks the Nets could climb as high as fourth or third in the East if they continue to play the way they have since we entered 2014.
A five-game wining streak is great for any team, but for the Nets it has established them as a force in the NBA. Their injured players are healed, and Kidd seems to have made it through the storm of a being a rookie coach. The players have bought into his system, and we are now seeing the results we hoped for at the beginning of the year.