Tonight at 8 p.m., the Nets have a tough test as they host the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Miami Heat, at Barclays Center.
The Nets lost both previous matchups to the Heat, but both games were played at American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Brooklyn will attempt to keep its eight-game home winning streak alive, but it certainly won’t be easy. Miami has won 12 straight games in the series, including six-straight on the Nets home floor.
Beating Good Teams
The Nets have had little trouble beating the bottom-feeders of the league. In fact, Brooklyn is the only team in the NBA that has not lost to a team under .500 (17-0).
But the Nets must consistently prove that they can beat the better teams in the league.
The Nets are 10-18 against teams at or above .500. Tonight’s game against the Heat will either improve or worsen that record.
In the Nov. 7, 2012 matchup, the Nets trailed by just nine at halftime. However, the Heat just torched Brooklyn in the second half en route to a 30-point victory.
The second time around on Dec. 1, 2012, the Nets were leading 73-65 in the third quarter before an 8-0 Heat run tied the game. Miami went on to win by a final score of 102-89.
Both those games were under Avery Johnson, and the Nets will need their increased offensive output under P.J. Carlesimo to keep things close tonight.
Stars Have Shined against Nets
The two big stars on the Heat – LeBron James and Dwyane Wade – have both been efficient against the Nets this season.
Wade has averaged 28.0 points and has shot 70.6 percent from the field in the two wins over Brooklyn this season. James meanwhile has averaged 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists against Brooklyn.
Win Would Be Historic
If the Nets can beat the Heat in their last game in January, it would tie the franchise record for 12 wins in a month and set the high mark for wins in January. It would also mark the highest winning percentage in January as well.
The action tips off at 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN and the YES Network.