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Nets play host to the Heat

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Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe it should snow more often. With New York digging out from the blizzard on Saturday, the Nets played host to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night. The Thunder had won seven straight games, but Brooklyn came away with an incredibly impressive 116-106 victory. The win ended Brooklyn's five game losing streak.

Coming into town will be the Miami Heat. They've had a rough couple of weeks as they've lost seven out of their last nine games. This is the second night of a back-to-back for the Heat. They were able to snap their four game losing streak with a win in Chicago last night. Once this game ends, they'll have a few days off before ending their five game road trip in Milwaukee on Friday night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV (unless you are Comcast-blind), WFAN 101.9 FM on the radio. Tip off is after 7:30.

Injuries

Andrea Bargnani was under the weather so he missed practice yesterday. His status for tonight is unknown.

Hassan Whiteside didn't play yesterday due to an oblique injury and his availability for tonight is unknown. Goran Dragic is out tonight and hoping to return Friday in Milwaukee. Beno Udrih had been dealing with a sore neck recently, but returned to the lineup on Monday.

The game

Let's get it

2015-2016

Brooklyn

Miami

Record

12-33 24-21

Pace

96.87 94.18

Offensive Efficiency

98.2 101.3

Defensive Efficiency

105.9 100

Turnover Rate

15.4 15.2

Assist Rate

16.5 16.1

Offensive Rebounding Rate

24.4 22

Rebound Rate

49.8 50.4

Free Throw Rate

22.6 28.4

Effective Field Goal Percentage

47.8 49.8

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

52.3 47.9

The Heat won game one and the Nets took game two.

The Nets haven't filled out the coach and GM positions yet, but we've got an idea of who they're looking at. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are taking close looks at Danny Ferry, Bryan Colangelo, Arturas Karnisovas of Denver, and Gerrson Rosas of Houston. On the coaching side of things, David Blat's name has been linked to the Brooklyn job. We've still got a long way to go, and we'll keep you updated as this process continues.

Justin Benjamin over at Hot Hot Hoops made a pretty interesting observation about the Heat and their first half of the season:

But for all the inconsistency over the first half of the season, one major element has remained fairly consistent: the starting lineup. The talented lineup of Dragic, Wade, Deng, Bosh and Whiteside have started over 25 games but haven't exactly meshed this season. With impressive individual resumes, the togetherness has rarely resonated on the floor. In fact its not often that coach Spoelstra closes the game with the lineup that starts the game.

That lineup has played 332 minutes together (tenth most in the NBA) this season but only has a net rating of 0.8. Getting the most out of that lineup will be essential if the Heat hope to make a deep playoff run.

Hey, Amar'e Stoudemire is still in the league! With Whiteside out, Stoudemire has taken his place in the starting lineup and played 25 minutes last night. In fact, it's the most minutes he's played in a game since December 30, 2014 when he played 30 minutes vs the Bulls as a member of the Knicks. With this being the second night of a b2b, Erik Spoelstra is going to have to keep an eye on his minutes.

With the front court in bad shape, Chris Bosh will see a lot more time at center. Bosh is a matchup nightmare for just about any big man in the NBA. He can score on the inside, is a good rebounder, and most importantly can draw opposing bigs away from the basket with his three point shooting. His work to expand his range on offense helped the Heat win two championships and has made him a natural fit in today's NBA where you need as much floor spacing as possible to run a good offense. He'll spend a lot of time guarding Brook Lopez tonight. The big guy is coming off of arguably his best game of the season on Sunday, scoring 31 points, grabbing ten rebounds, and going 9-10 at the free throw line. What should encourage Nets fans most is that Tony Brown staggered his minutes throughout the night so that Brook could play most of the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn has been the worst fourth quarter team in the league, and having a fully rested and energized Lopez there makes things a bit easier. He took 14 of his 19 shots on Sunday inside the restricted area, and that should continue here. Feeding him the ball close to the basket is always the right strategy, and it becomes job one when facing a team that's playing with only three healthy big men.

One big help: Joe Johnson wound up as a late game facilitator, an adjustment Brown made after seeing his two point guards, Donald Sloan and Shane Larkin fail to feed Lopez in previous games. It worked.

Player to watch: Dwyane Wade

Wade isn't the player he was in his prime, but he's still managed to be Miami's leader and a capable contributor.He's averaging a more than respectable 18.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds a night in 30 minutes a game on 45 percent shooting. He's never been a good three point shooter, and is shooting 22.6 percent from deep this year, his worst since the 2005-2006 campaign. He makes up for it by making good use of pick and rolls and getting to the foul line.

Wayne Ellington is still the starter, but Bojan  Bogdanovic out to see the majority of the minutes. Ellington has been pretty horrible since he was inserted into the starting lineup, shooting only 37.1 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from three point range. Bogdanovic hasn't been any good this month either, but has made 12 out of his last 21 shots (including 6-10 from deep) over the past two games. If Bogdanovic is able to break out of his extended slump, it can give the Nets another person that can (somewhat) reliably get them baskets. And for tonight, it'll give someone that can Wade work on defense.

From the Vault

Wade has been giving the Bulls hell for almost a decade now.

More reading: Hot Hot Hoops