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Another matinee! Nets open up December at home against Heat

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Way to close out the month. On Friday, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics opened up the NBA schedule with a matinee at Barclays Center. Brooklyn was able to avenge Wednesday’s loss with a nice holiday win in front of the home faithful on Friday. The Nets get the Heat Sunday in (another) matinee, this one at 3 p.m., then a few days off before heading to Atlanta to play the bottom-dwelling Hawks Wednesday night.

As per usual, Erik Spoelstra has his guys exceeding expectations as the Heat find themselves in the top half of the Eastern Conference standings. They won their last game against the Golden State Warriors on Friday. This is the start of a brief three-game road trip for Miami. They head north to Toronto to start a back-to-back set that includes Boston on Wednesday. For the Nets, this will be their fourth game in seven days, sixth game in nine days.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WCBS 880 AM on radio. Daytime affair so the party is getting started after 3 PM.

Injuries

Caris Levert, Wilson Chandler, and Kyrie Irving are out. That KD fella too. Of the four, Irving is likely the next to return.

Dion Waiters’ ten game suspension is officially over, but I highly doubt he plays today, or any other day with Miami.

The game

You know when one of your coworkers tries to act like they're in charge? That's been Jimmy Butler for the past three years. Normally that kind of thing would be annoying as hell to deal with, but when you're as good as Butler is, people can let it rock. Butler returned to action on Friday after being out for a bit. Why was he out? Well I'll let Jimmy tell you...

It be like that sometimes.

Garrett Temple will get another chance to show out in the starting five. He's provided solid defense, good three point shooting, and most importantly, tons of energy. He'll get the Butler assignment.

Spencer Dinwiddie has been living large over the past two weeks and he ought to feast on Goran Dragic today. Dinwiddie put together another masterpiece on Friday, scoring 32 points and handing out 11 assists. The good thing about having a player like Dinwiddie is that the Nets don't have to bring Irving back until he's 100 percent. It's a long season and the Nets have big aspirations, so they can let their superstar heal up so he can come back firing on all cylinders.

Player to watch: Bam Adebayo

See what happens when you get Hassan Whiteside out of town? Miami sent Whiteside to the Portland Trailblazers over the summer and Adebayo was inserted into the starting lineup. Adebayo has been wonderful in his role and is gradually expanding his offensive arsenal. We're about a month away from the All Star game roster discussions, but Bam ought to have a solid case for making it to the game in Chicago.

Taurean Prince will be part of a frontcourt contingent that will try to keep Adebayo off the boards. Miami has been the second best rebounding team in the league, while Brooklyn is just outside the top ten. For Prince, Jarrett Allen, and the rest of Brooklyn's frontcourt, if they own the boards, they'll control the pace of the game.

From the Vault

Wednesday was a fairly sad day as it was it was the 12th anniversary of the day Sean Taylor passed. Let’s take a trip back in time and remember one of the great young safeties we ever got to see play.

More reading: Hot Hot Hoops