The Brooklyn Nets went into Miami last night with two things in mind, first exact some revenge from a previous blowout to the Heat, and secondly to show the Heat that they will be a team to be dealt with come playoff time.
The Nets played good basketball in the first half, but in the the second half, the ball movement was not as good and the Heat eventually put the upstart Nets away as the Nets could not hit a single shot in the fourth quarter.
Even John Schuhmann noticed during the first half…
Wow. Had to rewind that. Humphries had the ball w/ 7 on the shot clock. 5 passes later, he hits a jumper w/ 2 on the clock.—
John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) December 02, 2012
This loss, however, was nothing like the 30 point loss that the Nets had in Miami earlier this season. Now at 11-5, what do the Heat and others around the NBA think about the Nets chances of being a contender in the East?
The Brooklyn Nets looked at Saturday as a chance to make such a statement, albeit one with limited value considering it was the first day of December. Winners of five straight games and looking to make a better accounting for themselves than when the Heat whipped them by 30 points three weeks ago, the Nets had momentum and sought some credibility.
“We owe [the Heat] one,” Andray Blatche said Friday night after the Nets won in Orlando. “And everybody in this locker room knows that. So we want to go in with an attitude.”
Brooklyn did, playing with focus and determination while building a 12-point lead in the first half. When it was over, though, the Heat had a 102-89 victory and a sixth straight win. They had some nice words for the Nets, but generally they went into the Miami night unburdened.
“Are they legitimate?” LeBron James said. “They have a good team, they will be.”
The Nets are still a team in transition, but thus far, they’ve shown that they are no longer one of the league’s laughingstocks.