The Brooklyn Nets emerged victorious tonight over the Miami Heat, 86-62, in their first preseason meeting. The two will meet again on Oct. 25 in South Beach, where Miami will hope to wipe some of the stink away from tonight's performance.
How did the Nets cakewalk their way to a 20-plus -point victory? Three main things stand out:
- For one, the Heat left Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Michael Beasley on the bench all night. Outside of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers, the other Heat players struggled to get anything going offensively. The team shot 31.8 percent overall (21-of-66), 29.4 percent from three (5-of-17) and a ghastly 42.9 percent from the charity stripe (15-of-35). That's not going to happen very often.
- I hammered this point repeatedly throughout the live blog, but it's worth bringing up once more: The Heat aren't going to advance past the Eastern Conference playoffs if they can't rebound more effectively. Brooklyn grabbed 53 boards to Miami's 31. The Heat had 20 defensive rebounds; Brooklyn had 17 offensive boards. With Birdman and Greg Oden sitting out, it's not a total surprise that Brooklyn had their way on the interior. Still, Brooklyn, Indiana and Chicago all have enough size to punish Miami if they're not more aggressive in terms of rebounding.
- The Heat cut down on their turnovers after halftime (14 in total), but had seven in the first 15 minutes of the game. That helped the game get somewhat out of hand early, as the Heat completely stagnated offensively in the second quarter (they scored 12 points).
Heat fans shouldn't be overly concerned with the results of one preseason game, even one as lopsided as this. The only real potential cause for worry is the Heat's lack of rebounding, but the team overcame that problem last season to win a championship.
One thing's for certain, though: The Nets' home opener against the Heat on Nov. 1 should be an absolute barnburner.