The Miami Heat are down just one point to the Brooklyn Nets with three seconds to go. This exact moment is what defines this veteran roster. It is what has made them the team they are today. You expect either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, or heck, even Chris Bosh to get the final shot, sinking it in the process and winning the game. This is the exact opposite of what occurred on Wednesday night. Instead, Bosh tossed an awful pass to James which was more or less swatted away by Shaun Livingston, abruptly ending any chance that the Heat had of walking away with the clutch win.
With this recent loss to the Nets, the Heat have now lost four of their last five games, but what is even more concerning is that this Nets team has now beaten the defending champs three straight times this season without losing a single game in return. Due to how weak the Eastern Conference is this year, even a slightly above .500 team like the Nets will grab the fourth or fifth seed in the East, which makes a showdown in the playoffs with the Heat all the more likely. This is where the concern in these losses comes into play.
This current Nets team just seems to have the Heat’s number this year. Before this season (prior to the additions of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce), the Nets were 0-9 against the Heat since their Big Three formed in 2010. Since this offseason, the Nets have won three straight against the defending champs. You can obviously see the importance of both veteran players on this Nets roster.
The Nets also have extreme size and length, all attributes that have bothered the Heat since the formation of the Big Three. In the Heat’s three games against the Nets this season, they have shot a collective 46.26 percent from the field. This is well below their team average of 51 percent. You can see where the size advantage the Nets have can really affect the Heat’s shooting abilities.
It will be interesting to see how the Heat adjust their lineup heading into the final game against the Nets this season. Both teams will without a doubt be facing each other in the playoffs, so if Miami intends on making it to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals, they will need to figure out a way to beat the Nets first.