Something’s gotta give. The Brooklyn Nets are playing some pretty awful basketball right now, and it’s not going to get any better, or easier on Friday night as the Miami Heat enter the Barclays Center.
Miami is in second place in the East, while the Nets have fallen to 8th place after losing seven straight.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (16-20) vs. Miami Heat (27-10)
WHEN: 7:30 PM EST
WHERE: YES Network (tv), WFAN (radio), Barclays Center (live)
Miami won the first matchup in December in a classic collapse. The Heat scored 14 of the last 17 points in a little more than four minutes. There were positives for the Nets in that game as Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris combined for 54 points and “Brooklyn Heights” — Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan— combined for 27 points and 20 rebounds. That kind of contribution would be appreciated Friday night.
For the Nets, look for Caris LeVert, who missed that first Heat game, to play more than the 22 minutes he racked up vs. OKC. He had reached his minutes restriction at the end of regulation and had to watch, dejected, from the bench as the Nets couldn’t mount an effective offense in OT.
For more on the Heat, check out Hot Hot Hoops.
Brooklyn, at 9-8 at home and hobbled with injuries, may not present as big of a threat on paper to the Heat. However, they have struggled at times precisely against these kinds of teams, as evidenced by recent losses to the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards, the only blips in a stretch in which Miami otherwise won eight of their last 10 games.
Justise Winslow finally returned to action against the Pacers and will be eager to carve out a bigger role for himself as he gets back into NBA shape after missing so much time due to back-to-back injuries. UPDATE: Miami has ruled Winslow out for tonight’s game out of caution as he works to fully recover from his back injury.