After narrowly winning Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors, the Brooklyn Nets came out flat in Game 1 against the Miami Heat. LeBron James’ 22 points paced the two-time championships as they flew by the Nets, 107-86. The Miami Heat had seven days to rest while the Nets only had one day to recover. Miami used their fresh legs to their advantage as they routine won loose balls and had no trouble getting to the basket. Despite the lop sided score, the Nets are very experienced and are coached by one of the better basketball minds of this generation. The Heat shot a staggering 57 percent from the field in Game 1 and erased any doubts about their match-ups against the Nets. During the regular season, the Nets won all four games against the Heat.
The Nets have shown a propensity to bounce back, so expect a spirited effort in Game 2. The Nets boasted an embarrassing 10-21 record on New Year’s Day before ripping off 34 of their next 51 games to secure the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. More importantly, the Nets are 12-4 when coming off losses of 15+ points.
The Nets allowed five Heat players to score double digit points in Game 1, so they must do a better job at limiting opportunities. The Nets held LeBron and D-Wade to just three free throws. Expect the Nets to continue playing solid defense.
The Nets have been led by Joe Johnson and Deron Williams who made 14 of their 21 shots in Game 1. The rest of the team shot just 19 of 49 from the field.
The oddsmakers are expecting another Heat win in Game 2 as NBA odds opened with the Heat listed as eight-point favorites. Even though I think the Heat will win Game 2, I expect the Nets to cover. Recent history has shown us that the Nets are a resilient bunch. Expect them to keep it close in Game 2.
Official Pick: Nets +8