Each game, the Miami Heat Index, ESPN's site devoted to the Miami Heat (and nothing else), does a short analysis of the next Heat opponent. Three writers, stats maven Tom Haberstroth and two long-time beat reporters Brian Windhorst and Michael Wallace offer their opinions on three statements. They are asked to respond "Fact" or "Fiction" to the three statements. It's called the "3 on 3 Preview." For the Nets, the three statements are:
Fact or Fiction: This is a matchup of the top two seeds in the East.
Fact or Fiction: The Heat should have signed Andray Blatche on a flier.
Fact or Fiction: Joe Johnson has had a more disappointing start than Dwyane Wade.
While the three have different opinions on the second and third statements, all agree that the Nets don't qualify (yet or at all) as a possible top two seed. It's a given that the Heat do. The main argument made by the three is that either the Celtics or Knicks (both of whom the Nets have beaten in the last week, if memory serves) will rise up.
Wallace writes, "once Boston hits its stride, I think the Celtics will be the team occupying that spot directly behind the Heat in the East." For the record, the Nets are 8-1 vs. conference opponents, the Heat 5-1.
Windhorst says he's "Not ready to give that to Nets yet" but admits, "Mikhail Prokhorov has said he expects conference finals, he might be on to something."