The Miami Heat were able to beat the oldest team from New York on Sunday afternoon, dismantling the New York Knicks 102-91 and will have a chance to finally beat the newest team out the New York Boroughs tomorrow night. The Brooklyn Nets will visit the American Airlines Arena and attempt to be the first team this season to sweep the Heat in all four games, which would be a major accomplishment considering no team has done this to the Heat since the Big Three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade formed in 2010.
The race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference in still extremely tight, with the Heat only leading the Indiana Pacers by one game in total. Every game is a must-win for the defending champs if they want to secure home-court advantage in the playoffs. More importantly, winning their first game against the Nets tomorrow night would give the Heat a slight mental edge over Brooklyn if these two teams were to meet in the second round, which is a definite possibility.
Although the final scores have been close in their first three meetings, the Nets have thoroughly manhandled the Heat in almost every fashion this season. Through the first three games, the Heat have been outrebounded by 24, have had a total of only seven blocks compared to the Nets’ 16 and have shot poorly from beyond the arc compared to their Borough’s rival. These are just a few collective statistics that point to how the Nets have had the upper hand on the Heat for much of the season.
A win tomorrow night is extremely important for the Heat on multiple levels. Not only will it help secure the No. 1 seed in the conference, but it lets the Nets know that a second round matchup against the defending champs is not something the team should wish for.