When the Nets traded for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, a playoff match-up with the Miami Heat seemed inevitable. Now, it’s a reality and game 1 of the best of 7 series begins tonight at 7pm from Miami.
There are two main stats that appear to favor the Nets heading into this series.
The first one is that Brooklyn won all four meetings (4-0) during the regular season, no other team in the NBA accomplished that feat. Here are the results of the 4 games, 3 of which the Nets won by one points.
- November 1st: Nets 101 Heat 100 LeBron James 27 points, Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson 19 points each
- January 10th: Nets 104 Heat 95 2OT LeBron James 36 points, Joe Johnson 32 points
- March 12th: Nets 96 Heat 95 LeBron James 19 points, Paul Pierce 29 points
- April 8th: Nets 88 Heat 87 LeBron James 29 points, Joe Johnson 19 points
The other statistic is this series “marking the 26th time that teams will meet in a best-of-seven series after one club went 4-0 or better against the other in the regular season. In each of the first 25 such instances, the regular-season winner also won the playoff match-up.”
It is truly amazing how much these two statistics seem to favor the Nets, because based on what’s happened during the regular season between these two teams, you would think Brooklyn has Miami’s number. However, they mean NOTHING.
The reality of the situation is the Heat are still far and away the best team in the East, still the reigning 2-time defending NBA champions and 3-time defending Eastern Conference Champions, and LeBron James, despite not winning the MVP this season, is still the best player in the world.
Miami also has the advantage of not having played a game since April 28th, that’s 8 days off while the Nets just played a nail-biting game 7 against the Raptors on Sunday. Those 8 days off are monumental for Dwyane Wade who hasn’t looked like himself all season. If he can turn back the clock thanks to his extended rest, the Heat will be in some serious business.
That being said, the Nets can still win this series. Much like what happened during the regular season, Brooklyn is going to have to keep the games close, allowing Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson to take over in the games final minutes.
The drama all beings tonight.