The Brooklyn Nets may not own the best record in the NBA but they do own a 3-0 record against the Miami Heat this season. The Nets haven’t had much success against the Indiana Pacers, losing all four games but the Nets still possess the confidence to make it out of the East.
The Heat entered the season as the two-time defending champs with arguably the best player on the planet in LeBron James. The Nets came into the season with a ton of question marks while their best player was nearly traded last season in Brook Lopez. On paper this rivalry should be a one-sided contest, but that’s why they don’t play the games on paper.
The Nets have no real health issues and have found great chemistry while mastering Jason Kidd’s small-ball lineup. It’s no fluke that the Nets have been the best team in the Eastern Conference since Jan. 1 due to their commitment on defense. They are starting to live up to their preseason hype and are now showing the league the force they can be when they are dialed in.
Deron Williams has been attacking the basket like his old self and Paul Pierce has stepped back in time showing he can be counted on for both offense and defense. Kevin Garnett prior to sitting out the last few games has transformed the team into a defensive force. Journeymen such as Shaun Livingston and Andray Blatche have revived their careers while unknowns like Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson and Mason Plumlee have provided sparks off the bench.
Kidd could be on his way to a top-three finish in Coach of the Year voting. He has them focused and playing at a championship level entering the home stretch of the schedule. The Nets could grab the third seed in the Conference, setting up a second-round meeting with the Heat. While many believe the Heat and Pacers are still the front-runners in the conference, they must not forget about resurgent Nets.