FanPost

Game #38 Preview: New Jersey Nets at Miami Heat

Welcome to the main event New Jersey. After barely escaping Charlotte with a win, the Nets now face arguably the best team in the NBA. The best way I could describe this matchup is David vs. Galactus. And now that Brook Lopez is out of action for 3 weeks, the already arduous challenge of beating the Heat in Miami becomes even more difficult. After embarrassing the Blazers in Portland, the Heat lost their next two games at Utah and at the LA Lakers, all without Chris Bosh, due to the passing of his grandmother. The Nets are gonna have to keep this game close early if they want a shot at pulling the upset.

Let's take a look at these two teams:

Offensive Efficiency

Defensive Efficiency

Free Throw rate

Offensive Rebounding %

Turnover Rate

Effective FG%

Opponent's Effective FG%

New Jersey

100.3

108.3

28.1

28.76

15.01

47.93

51.68

Miami

107.9

97.5

32.6

26.51

14.20

52.21

47.39

League Average

100.6

100.7

28.1

26.94

14.02

48.1

48.2

Taking a look at the Nets, despite the fact that the Bobcats are a terrible team, they were able to hold Charlotte to 2-14 from the three point line. Granted, Charlotte is the worst three point shooting team in the league and Miami is the best, but hey at least it's something. As has been their wont this year (2nd in attempts per game), the Nets will throw up a bunch of threes in this game. The Heat have allowed the 2nd most three pointers attempted per game, but here's where context matters. Teams will naturally "go to their slingshot" when they're down by a bunch so it's to be expected.

As for Miami, they do everything you want the great teams to do and have all the great qualities of the truly elite teams. Efficient on offense? Check. Great on defense? Got that part down pat. Roster depth? Much improved from last season? Win every game convincingly? Being number 1 in efficiency differential says yes. Have one of the best players in the league? They've got the best player in the world and the other guy (Wade) is pretty damn great too.

And before we jump into the individual matchups, let's take a look back at a famous Nets-Heat moment.

Tip-off is 7:30, and now we jump!

Point Guard: Deron Williams vs. Mario Chalmers

Welcome back to carrying the Nets to victory Deron! Coming off of his franchise-record 57 points, D-Will is gonna have to play just as well in this game. He probably won't get to the charity stripe 21 times again, but he's gonna have to attack the basket like crazy. Now that Brook will be MIA for the time being, Williams is gonna have to be consistently excellent in order for the Nets to be in competitive games.

Life is sweet for Mario Chalmers. You're the starting point guard on a championship level team, you play well, and you've got players who love to set up their teammates and you'll always have open looks from downtown. He's like a better version of Steve Kerr.

Advantage: Nets

Shooting Guard: MarShon Brooks vs. Dwyane Wade

Brooks is gonna have the toughest challenge of his career this game. He'll more than likely be defended by wade, LeBron and Shane Battier, three excellent defenders. They're gonna be physical with him, so if he's able to perform well it'll be a huge boost of confidence for him going forward.

Apparently, Wade hit his head in Los Angeles on Sunday and might have concussion like symptoms. Despite that, it's been another excellent season from Flash. He's still super efficient, is solid on the glass, a good rebounding guard, is solid defensively, and will look to keep his teammates involved in the offense. He's also eliminated the three pointer from his arsenal so that's another plus to his name.

Advantage: Miami

Small Forward: DeShawn Stevenson vs. LeBron James

Stevenson: "I got LeBron"

LeBron: 32 points on 11-17 from the field with 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 10 free throws.

Let's play a game of which player is this:

True Shooting %

Effective Field Goal %

Assist %

Rebound Rate

Offensive Rating

Defensive Rating

Win Shares per 48

PER

Player A

.605

.547

25.2

9.5

125

102

.321

31.6

Player B

.623

.571

35.5

13.3

121

97

.339

33.1

Player A is Michael Jordan from 1990-1991, and Player B is LeBron James this season.

What we have here is a rare opportunity to see a player play at a level above Jordan at his peak. James does it all on the court. He's even more efficient that he's ever been, a fantastic passer, and a machine on the defensive end (opponent PER of 8.7). I remember when he first signed with the Heat, everyone in the basketball blogosphere expected his performance to dip because he didn't have to do as much work with Wade & Bosh around. But now in his second season, he is back to playing at the best of his abilities.

Advantage: Heat

Power Forward: Kris Humphries vs. Udonis Haslem (Edit at 1:38 PM) Chris Bosh

Assuming Bosh isn't playing this game, Humphries should be able to do some work on the glass.

Haslem has always been a solid player for the Heat. He can make the midrange jumper whenever he's open, he's competent on the glass & provides a physical presence.

Bosh returns to the Heat lineup after missing the past three games following the death of his grandmother. Bosh will never be mistaken for Karl Malone, but he's still a great player. He can consistently make his jumpers, has a post presence, and does work on the glass. Bosh jokes are funny sometimes, but he's good money on the court.

Advantage: Even (Edit at 1:38 PM) Heat

Center: Shelden Williams vs. Joel Anthony

Brook Lopez is out again, so Shelden will take his spot. He's all rebounding, no offense...

just like Joel Anthony. The only difference is that Anthony can only focus on defense and rebounding because he's got plenty of guys capable of doing the job on offense. If only the Nets had more than one competent player on offense.

Advantage: Even

Bench:

New Jersey: Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar, Gerald Green

Miami: Shane Battier, Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Juwan Howard, Dexter Pittman, (Edit at 1:38 PM) Udonis Haslem

Advantage: Heat

Miscellaneous:

Provided they don't suffer any injuries, I'd be stunned if the Heat don't win the Finals

That Shane Battier signing is looking mighty good for the Heat right now

(Edit at 1:38 PM) The increased tempo of the Heat this season is a beautiful thing to watch. If they played at this pace, they win the title.

I want the trade deadline to just get here because I can't take the rumors anymore

Journey through the darkside: Peninsula is Mightier

The mothership: Nets vs Heat coverage

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