The Brooklyn Nets‘ 2013-14 season has been like a roller coast ride. The teamed initially seemed doomed by Jason Kidd‘s inexperience and the lack of team chemistry, and with the season ending injury to Brook Lopez, the season seemed lost. Since the All-Star break, the Nets have come back as a completely new team, turned it around and have everything firing on all cylinders.
The team is currently 43-34, in fifth place in the East, and is the biggest threat to the reigning champions, the Miami Heat.
Brooklyn beat the Heat 88-87 on Tuesday night, sweeping the season series 4-0. Brooklyn is the only team Miami was unable to beat this season. Brooklyn is also the only team to ever sweep the ‘Big Three’ in a regular season series. Kidd and the Nets have figured out all of the Heat’s weak spots. Every time these two match up, the Nets expose the Heat’s defensive weaknesses and completely control the Heat’s offense.
In their loss on Tuesday, Miami allowed Brooklyn to shoot 52 percent from field goal range and 40 percent from behind the arc. The Heat’s defense hasn’t shown too much intensity this season and it has cost them against Brooklyn. Out of the four games these two teams played this season, Brooklyn beat the Heat by less than two points in three out of four games. Coming down the stretch, Miami’s defensive has relied on its offense to do the work, which won’t cut it against a team like Brooklyn.
In their most recent loss, the Heat’s defense allowed Marcus Thornton to hit multiple 3-pointers, preventing the Heat’s offense from being able to pull away.
Whether with the Boston Celtics or Brooklyn, Paul Pierce is the Heat’s heartbreaker. Time after time, he finds ways for his team to get past the Heat. He has taken on a new role this year with Brooklyn and looks to be surrounded by the proper pieces to help them get past the Eastern Conference Finals. Pierce is averaging 21.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game against the Heat this season. He has become a true leader with the Nets who has the potential to dethrone LeBron James and the Heat.
Brooklyn sweeping Miami in the regular season is a big deal because it is something that hasn’t happened yet and is also a sign of what’s to come. Not only does this loss for Miami prove that Brooklyn is a legitimate threat to their championship hopes, it also shows that this Heat team is nowhere near where they were last season, nor are they ready to win another championship.
Miami has a lot to work on before the playoffs, or it could be Brooklyn representing the East in the NBA Finals.