The New Jersey Nets took on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat at home on Sunday Afternoon. From the start, the Heat seemed to prove that the Nets were nowhere close to them talent-wise.
With Brook Lopez getting into foul trouble early, the middle was weakened and Miami was able to take advantage. Lopez still managed to have a 20-point game, but the rest of his team struggled to find their touch, losing ugly, by the score of 101-78.
The Nets somehow out-rebounded the Heat 43-40, but the fact that Miami had 13 more assists, double the steals and six more blocks gave them the necessary ingredients to prevail to victory. Since losing their first game of the 2010-11 NBA season, the Miami Heat have beaten their last three opponents by a total of 59 points.
In four games this year, the leading scorers for the Heat have been LeBron James (twice) and Dwyane Wade (twice), as expected. This should continue in the following games and most likely for the remainder of the season because the Heat are simply more dominant when James and Wade take control of the contest.
This game was the first time this season the Heat have scored more than 100 points, which is likely to be a reoccurring thing on a nightly basis, being that their entire team is full of players that can seemingly score at will. LeBron James led his team in scoring with 20 points, along with dishing out seven assists and grabbing seven rebounds.
As expected, the other top performers for the Miami Heat were Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Wade put up some impressive numbers recording 17 points, seven assists, six rebounds, two steals and a block, while only turning the ball over once. Bosh wasn’t effective as he is expected to be, but still managed put up 18 points, one rebound, two assists, and one block.
Eddie House and Zydrunas Ilgauskas played significant roles coming off of the bench in Sunday’s blowout. Ilgauskas had 10 points, four rebounds and one assist, while also recording five fouls which is exactly what he’s supposed to do. The 7’3’’ 260-pound giant was brought over with LeBron James to be a big physical body in the middle, constantly wearing down his opponents.
Eddie House, on the other hand, is a great point guard off of the bench who is in his second stint with the Miami Heat after playing three seasons for the organization in the beginning of his career. On Sunday, House scored 11 points while earning three rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 24 minutes of play.
The Heat have seemed to be clicking on all cylinders of late, showing everybody around the NBA that the first loss of the season was due to working out the kinks and players getting familiar with their teammates. The rest of the season should be extremely exciting, with the possibilities of quite of few records being broken.
The Nets on the other hand are looking to bounce back off of a disappointing 2009-10 NBA season. In the first two games of this young season, the Nets fought their way back into the game, overcoming the hole they put themselves into. Well Sunday afternoon they dug a hole too deep, too early on, losing sight of the game before the second half even started, trailing 58-42 going into the third quarter.
Once Lopez got into foul trouble early on, the Heat took over dominantly and never looked back. Lopez led the Nets with 20 points, also putting up five rebounds, and one assist. The most productive player for the Nets was the promising-rookie Derrick Favors, who recorded 13 points, 13 rebounds, and one assist.
New Jersey has one of the youngest teams in the NBA, but they are full of talent. If they can develop some team chemistry, this Nets team could be a force to reckon with in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets have a tough schedule ahead in the next six games, facing the Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic (twice), Cleveland Cavaliers (twice) and the Miami Heat once again. This time against the Heat, on Saturday, Nov. 6, the Nets will need versatile players like Terrence Williams and Anthony Morrow to step up big-time.
With the fierce competition ahead of them, the Nets will have a chance to show the elite teams around the league, that they are a team planning on competing for the 2010-11 NBA championship.