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Nets back at Barclays for preseason game vs Heat

NBA: Brooklyn Nets-Media Day Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Three more to go. The Brooklyn Nets opened up the preseason schedule with a 115-107 win over the New York Knicks at the Garden on Tuesday night. After tonight, they get two days off before returning to action against the Knicks on Sunday.

The opponent tonight will be the Miami Heat. They got off to a nice start and beat the Atlanta Hawks 96-90 on Tuesday night. With the bottom of the East weaker than it was last season, the Heat have a great chance to make it back into the postseason.

It’s the first NBA game at Barclays Center since last April.

Where to follow the game

NBATV has you covered tonight. Tip-off after 7:30.


Allen Crabbe and Caris Levert missed Tuesday’s game with ankle injuries and will be out tonight as well.

Nothing doing for the Heat.

The game

With Crabbe and Levert out, that gives Isaiah Whitehead a chance to make an impression on the coaching staff as well as carve out a role for himself when they return. The Nets still figure to be weak defensively, and if Whitehead can excel on that side of the ball, he can be a solid rotation player for Kenny Atkinson.

Justise Winslow figures to be the biggest key to success for Miami this season. He missed most of last season due to a shoulder injury and it set his development back a great deal. He’ll be coming off the bench this season and if he’s able to develop even a semi-respectable jump shot, it will greatly improve the Heat’s offense as well possibly cause him to sneak into the starting lineup.

For the Nets, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson can create a lot of unique scenarios for them if he continues to develop. He’s been the team’s starting power forward since the middle of last season and he’s taken to the role really well. For a team that projects to play at the fastest pace in the league this year, having a hyper-athletic 4 that can handle the ball as well as set up his teammates will be very valuable. Like Winslow, he can stand to become a better jump shooter, but he’ll be surrounded by other three-point shooters, so it’s not as damaging as it could be.

We should get a nice, extended look at two of the big men taken in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft. Jarrett Allen has continued to earn rave reviews from the Nets and is someone who should have a nice spot in the rotation by the end of the year. There’s a bit of a big man logjam in Miami, and that could mean Bam Adebayo doesn’t see the court much during the season. The rookie from Kentucky had a pretty so-so summer, but is someone Miami expects to anchor their frontcourt in the future.

And yes, the Heat are still annoyed with the Nets decision to rest their starters on the last day of last season vs. the Bulls. If the Nets had beaten the Bulls, as they had the week before, the Heat would have made the playoffs.

“I was mad, because if you’re a professional athlete, you need to compete. It doesn’t matter if it’s the last game of the season,” Goran Dragic told the Sun-Sentinel. “Of course, it’s a different team [than last season’s Nets roster]. A lot of players left. They have almost a completely new team. I’m not looking for revenge.”