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Nets end preseason vs. the team they hope to challenge

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Maddie Meyer

No LeBron but some D-Will.  It could work out that way Friday when the Nets close out preseason in Miami vs. the Heat.

LeBron James has said he's likely to sit this one out and after his second 5-on-5 practice, word was that Deron Williams could see his name in the boxscore.  D-Will was dunking and dishing Thursday and said he had gotten beyond his anxiety and was ready. The Nets open next Wednesday in Cleveland.

Last week in Brooklyn, the Nets beat the Heat by 24 with LeBron scoring 16 but without Dwyane Wade. The Nets were without Williams and Andrei Kirilenko, who could also play. In fact, the Nets game notes lists everyone on the roster as available. Although it was "only preseason," the Nets played solid defense, holding the Heat to 62 points, both the lowest ever for Miami team in preseason and lowest total for any team this preseason.

No one expects another 24-point win but if D-Will does play, it will be a marker for both him and team chemistry.

For the Heat, it's been and up-and-down preseason with rebounding being the big issue, just as it was last season when they won their second straight championship. Two days ago, they got a possible boost in that area when Greg Oden played his first game since 2009 and with his first touch threw down a dunk. Just how much he --and the other Pat Riley risk, Michael Beasley-- will help remains a question mark.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are expected to play.