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Nets vs. Heat: 5 Key Matchups To Watch

2014 NBA Playoffs: 5 Matchups That Will Determine the Winner of Nets vs. Heat

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It's the series that many NBA fans have been clamoring for -- Nets vs. Heat. The defending champs against the Eastern Conference's most veteran team.

The Nets swept the Heat during the regular season, which is leading many to believe they have the matchup advantage. Here are five crucial matchups to keep an eye on during this semi-final round battle:

1. Joe Johnson vs. LeBron James

5. Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat-Steve Mitchell
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1. Joe Johnson vs. LeBron James

5. Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat-Steve Mitchell

Johnson played up to his hefty contract in game seven of the Nets first round series. But will he be able to keep it up with LeBron James on him? On the other side, can he keep up with James? Either way, Miami is going to make someone else besides Johnson beat them.

2. Chris Bosh vs. Kevin Garnett

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2. Chris Bosh vs. Kevin Garnett

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Whether it's Bosh or Birdman, you know that Garnett is going to be up to the task defensively. But with the 37-year old veteran only playing limited minutes these days, can the Heat take advantage?

3. LeBron James vs. Paul Pierce

Pierce and LeBron
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3. LeBron James vs. Paul Pierce

Pierce and LeBron

The second that The Truth gets hot, you know that LBJ will get switched over to him. If Pierce starts having flashbacks to five years ago, will James remind him that it's 2014?

4. Heat Frontcourt vs. Nets Frontcourt

Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat
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4. Heat Frontcourt vs. Nets Frontcourt

Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat

This is the area that most people agree favors the Nets. While they don't have Brook Lopez, they do have a bunch of guys near 7-foot: Mason Plumlee, Andray Blatche and KG. In general, Brooklyn is a big and physical team. Whoever wins the battles down low could very well win the entire series.

5. Brooklyn Bench vs. Miami Bench

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets
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5. Brooklyn Bench vs. Miami Bench

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets

When you talk about x-factors in the NBA Playoffs, look no further than the benches. For a team like the Nets to pull the upset, they'll need contributions from everyone. Keep an eye on guys like Shaun Livingston and Marcus Thorton.

As for the Heat, can future HOF'er Ray Allen continue to be a playoff hero? Will Rashard Lewis be a factor?