Heck, the Nets re-tooled their team in the offseason to prepare for their encounter with the reigning NBA champions. Even though the Nets did not have the season they were expecting, the one thing Brooklyn could take solace in was the fact that they were the only team the Heat could not beat this season.
But Brooklyn should realize that what happens in the regular season against one team does not always translate to postseason successes against that same team. The Nets quickly learned in Game 1 about how to act and play like a championship team. The Heat team that the Nets swept in the regular season was a team that was putting things on cruise control, opting to get more rest to prepare themselves for what could be their last postseason grind in the “Big 3” era.
Ever since the postseason started, the Heat have been giving opponents an education on how to play like a champion. The Charlotte Bobcats were the first to learn that lesson, and now the Nets quickly learned that lesson as well. If the Nets hope to bounce back in Game 2 on Thursday, they must let go of the myth that the Heat team they are facing are the same team they disposed of in four games this year.
Miami is now in full three-peat mode, and if the Nets have any chance of pulling off an upset of the defending champs, the Nets must learn how to play like champions — and fast.