NBA Playoffs 2014 - Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat Game 2
The biggest question facing the Heat after sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round was whether or not the weeklong layoff would have a negative effect on his team. In the first half of Game 1 they showed signs of rust and yet still maintained a 3-point lead. They then rode the wave of a big third quarter run to blow out the Brooklyn Nets 107-86. After a regular season in which the Nets swept them it made this an intriguing matchup. By the end of game 1 it was clear that what happened in the regular season was now a distant memory.
In what was a poor overall team performance Deron Williams (17 points on 8-10 from the field) and Joe Johnson (17 points on 7-11 from the field) were the only players amongst the Nets starters to play a productive game. Marcus Thornton, who had 11 points on 5-9 shooting, was the only other Net in double figures. If they continue to play like this then they are going to find themselves swept out of the playoffs. Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson were brought to Brooklyn to help get them over the hump and win series like this. Pierce had 8 points in 29 minutes and Garnett went scoreless (for the first time in his playoff career) in a measly 16 minutes. In many instances you need to throw the game film out the window and focus on the next game, this is probably the best option for the team and their coach Jason Kidd.
Miami made a change in the starting lineup from the first round by putting Shane Battier into the first unit while moving veteran Udonis Haslem to the bench. The move allowed the Heat to match up better with the Nets smaller unit and allowed them to assign Battier to defend Pierce. The move clearly went well as the Nets had trouble scoring all night long. Chris Bosh had 15 points and 11 rebounds in 32 strong minutes. Lebron James led all scorers with 22 points and 5 rebounds. Dwayne Wade had 14 points and 5 assists while Mario Chalmers had 12 points. The Heat bench played a lot of minutes and Ray Allen was spectacular with 19 points on 6-10 shooting.
The bottom line is that the Nets are going to need more out of Garnett and Pierce. They were brought here to solidify the team defense as well as help score baskets in clutch situations. They will have to pay more attention to Bosh, who has become the most versatile piece of the Heats offensive and defensive attack. He length on defense and improved range on his jump shot make him very difficult to account for with a traditional big man. The Heat outscored the Nets 52-28 in the paint and this cannot continue if the Nets want to make a run. They must stay in front of the Heat perimeter players and force them to shoot outside shots
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