Least we forget, exciting Ben Simmons trade news aside, these Brooklyn Nets are on a 10-game losing streak and heading into Miami where they will take on the top team in the Eastern Conference.
The new Nets - Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond - won’t suit up Saturday against the Heat. So, the Nets will still be Kyrie Irving and the kids (and Blake Griffin).
It won’t be easy to topple the Heat, but help should be on the way and soon. Not “tonight” soon, though.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (29-26) at Miami Heat (36-20)
WHEN: 8:00 p.m. EST
WHERE: YES (tv), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)
Player to watch: Bam Adebayo
If you’re looking for a big that can do just about everything, Bam’s your main man. Need a big that can stretch the floor and hit 16 to 18 foot jumpers? He’s got you. Need your big to switch onto a guard and lock them down? He’s got you. Need someone else to initiate the offense besides Lowry and Butler? He can do it, too. At only 24 years old, Adebayo is the perfect cornerstone for the Heat as they continued their run of excellence.
We’ll see how the Nets big man room looks tonight. Drummond figures to start, and he would help immensely. Miami is the third best rebounding team in the NBA this season and walloped Brooklyn on the boards in the first game. The Nets need to control the boards and push the pace in transition as much as possible, and that starts with completing possessions and securing rebounds. It feels like Drummond has been in the NBA forever, but he’s still only 28 years old and can give you good game in about 20 minutes a night. His former Pistons teammate, Blake Griffin, will be playing major minutes as well. BG has found his groove and has given the Nets some great effort and energy recently. He hasn’t made a three pointer in the past two games, but ought to have a little more space to work with as defenders will have to pay attention to another A+ shooter in Curry out there. Griffin does a good job of initiating offense out of the high post, so we’ll see how he and Curry start to build their chemistry.
For more on the Heat, check out Hot Hot Hoops.