LeBron James and company swept the Charlotte Bobcats in easy fashion, and the only real drama was whether James stared down Michael Jordan during a dunk in Game 3. It was a mismatch to begin with, and when Al Jefferson got hurt in Game 1, it was completely over.
The reward for the Heat was a lengthy wait. They had no idea whom their opponent would be until Sunday. With the Brooklyn Nets' 104-103 Game 7 win over the Toronto Raptors, they move on to play Miami.
You can see the full series schedule below, per the Sun Sentinel:
|1||Tues., May 6||Miami Heat||Brooklyn Nets||TBD||TNT|
|2||Thur., May 8||Miami Heat||Brooklyn Nets||TBD||ESPN2|
|3||Sat., May 10||Brooklyn Nets||Miami Heat||8 p.m.||ABC|
|4||Mon., May 12||Brooklyn Nets||Miami Heat||TBD||TNT|
|5*||Wed., May 14||Miami Heat||Brooklyn Nets||TBD||TNT|
|6*||Fri., May 16||Brooklyn Nets||Miami Heat||TBD||ESPN|
|7*||Sun., May 18||Miami Heat||Brooklyn Nets||TBD||ABC|
Despite all the drama that has unfolded in the Eastern Conference playoffs thus far, things could still incredibly go according to plan, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
For all the might-have-beens amid first-round drama, it still could be Heat-Nets in the second round and Heat-Pacers in East finals.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) May 3, 2014
All of the time off has made it hard for the Heat to prepare for the next round.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra said that it would be a waste of time for his team to prepare for either the Nets or Raptors in practice considering all the time spent strategizing for the eventual loser would prove fruitless, via Winderman:
You can't start planning for one team and their differences over the other team. Then you might be wasting your time. It's served us well in the past to drill our fundamentals, and that's what we did [Friday], training-camp style with our defense. All of those habits. That never hurts to do that and to do it fully competitive and full contact.
Looking ahead, let’s dig into some predictions for how the Heat-Nets series may unfold.
Round Two Preview
The Heat would've been much happier seeing the Raptors. They took all four games against Toronto in the regular season, whereas Brooklyn took all four contests against Miami.
It's safe to say that the Nets aren’t going to sweep the Heat in the playoffs. Still, this series will be the more difficult of the two potential matchups if we go by the postseason pedigree of the players on the roster.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett played James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh in some epic matchups when the two veterans were in Boston. The value of that type of experience under the brightest lights cannot be overstated at this time of year.
This will be an emotional series to say the least.
The veteran-laden Nets may be physically drained after a seven-game series with Toronto. Miami’s rest will come into play as this series drags on as will the physicality required in trying to stop James and Wade on the offensive end.
Brooklyn will prove that the regular season wasn’t a complete fluke and win a couple of games, but Miami is a well-oiled machine that has been gearing toward the playoffs all season. Brooklyn, or any Eastern Conference team for that matter, isn’t going to stand in its way.
The Heat will win this in six games.