But, according to Nets' starting power forward Reggie Evans, one thing it isn't is a measuring stick to see how they stack up against the NBA's defending champs.
In speaking with Stefan Bondy, Evans said that Heat are essentially just another team, that beating them "doesn't prove anything" because Miami won their championship during a lockout season.
He also went on to say that defending LeBron James is no different than defending, well, anyone else in the NBA.
"Our team is defending the Miami Heat. If our team has to defend one person, LeBron isn't going to score nothing. LeBron is no different from Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche. No different," Brooklyn's starting power forward said. "People need help (on defense). Some people don't need help. Everybody has to be double-teamed, it doesn't matter who you are. You just have to stop LeBron in transition."
Not exactly the defensive scouting report you were expecting, huh?
In 32 career games against the Nets, LeBron is averaging 27.6 points on 49.3 percent shooting, which happens to match his career scoring numbers.
We'll see tonight how he fares tonight against the Nets who are currently 17th in the NBA in defensive rating.
And that's not the end of it. James accused the Nets, in another Bondy piece, of giving up on Avery Johnson!
“They are not doing anything different. They are playing with more passion, more together, they are playing like they want to play for their coach,” James said. “It sucks that Avery had to take the hit of them not wanting to play at a high level, but that's what it looks like to me. They haven't changed their offense, they haven't changed their defense. They've picked it up in intensity level and you can tell they like to play for PJ.”
Bulletin boards are filling up before the 8 p.m. start time.
- Brooklyn Nets' Reggie Evans talking tough about LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Miami Heat - Stefan Bondy - NY Daily News
- LeBron's First Away Game - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
W2W4: Nets vs. Heat - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York