clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat preview: Nets begin homestand vs. the Heat

The Heat who lost in a historic comeback at Madison Square Garden Friday cross the East River Saturday to face the Nets.

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Almost got ‘em. The Brooklyn Nets hit the ATL for a showdown with the Atlanta Hawks. The Nets got it to overtime, but couldn’t bring it all the way home and suffered a heartbreaking two point defeat. Those kind of losses tend to sting the most.

The opponent tonight has started to figure some things out. The Miami Heat are back to looking good and have been in town all holiday weekend. They were across the bridge at MSG, where they played the New York Knicks. When I went to watch Blue Beetle on HBO (fun movie, would recommend!), the Heat were up 20. However, when I tapped back in after the movie, I saw that the Heat lost the lead and the game. Eek.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 6:00 p.m. ET.

Injuries

Cam Thomas is making progress, but won’t be back tonight. Ben Simmons will be re-evaluated in a week. Cam Johnson didn’t play in overtime after he made the game tying layup in regulation. CJ was dealing with cramps late, but Jacque Vaughn said he’ll be good to go tonight. In fact, he’s not even on the injury report!

Bam Adebayo (hip) & Duncan Robinson (thumb) were ruled out of tonight’s game in the early afternoon. Jimmy Butler (ankle) is listed as questionable.

Tyler Herro has been out and is out tonight. Former Net Dru Smith will miss the remainder of the season after being diagnosed this week with a third degree right ACL sprain.
Robinson missed last night’s game after begin diagnosed with a right thumb sprain.

The game

Brooklyn won the first game while Miami got the second. These teams wrap up the season series in mid January.

Nic Claxton keeps on keeping on. The big fella was exceptional as he was a force on both sides of the ball before fouling out in overtime. Claxton being able to add more and more to his skillset is a blessing and something that should have Nets fans pumped for what the rest of the season holds. We’ll see if Bam Adebayo is available for this one. Bam missed Wednesday’s win against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a hip injury, but played last night in MSG. Adebayo has continued to build his game and is someone you can trust to play great defense, score when you need him to, and find his teammates with some great passes from the center position.

Cam Johnson finding his shot is just what the doctor ordered. The Nets need all the help they can get and if Johnson is able to give the Nets some solid scoring, it’ll lessen the workload on players like Dennis Smith Jr and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Player to watch: Jimmy Butler

Of course, this assumes Butler plays. If he does play, he’s gonna look to wash away the taste of last night’s rough loss. When your team needs a pick-me-up after a disastrous loss, you turn to your franchise player. Those are the guys that snap you back into reality after a mess of a game the night before and the person that prevents things from backsliding out of control. The last time Butler saw the Nets, he buried the Nets to the tune of 36 points and one especially backbreaking run

The Nets have to hang tough if/when Butler takes the game over. You know it’s coming.

Constructive criticism is always a good thing. Earlier in the week, Mikal Bridges sat down with Taylor Rooks and noted some of the feedback he’s gotten from Nets fans when he struggles and how he works hard to keep finding his groove. He found that and then some as he lit the Hawks up to the tune of 45 points on 16/31 shooting from the field. Without Cam Thomas for the time being, the Nets lack some downhill juice. Luckily, Bridges can address that when his game is dialed in like it was on Wednesday night:

If Bridges can go from paint to great (shout out to Sandy Brondello!), then the Nets offense can survive and thrive in the halfcourt setting. With the Nets needing a win in the worst way, look for Bridges to hunt for his shot early and often.

From the Vault

We’ve got some album anniversaries! Redman’s Dare Iz A Darkside turned 29 a few days ago.

And not to be outdone, Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle turned 30!

More reading: Hot Hot Hoops, SB Nation NBA, Nets Republic, All U Can Heat