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Starting Five: Collision course with Heat?

3/13/2014

Last season, the Brooklyn Nets never did get to face the Miami Heat in the playoffs.

They lost Game 7 of the first round to the Chicago Bulls, and their season ended in disappointment.

Following Wednesday night’s victory in Miami, the Nets improved to 3-0 against the Heat this season, and it was impossible not to wonder: are these two teams on a collision course to meet in the playoffs in 2013-14?

Brooklyn is clearly a confident bunch when it faces Miami, and the Nets clearly matchup well against the Heat.

Both teams play a smaller lineup and struggle to rebound.

The Nets (33-30) have moved up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, still three games behind the third-place Toronto Raptors (36-27).

If Brooklyn somehow finishes with the No. 3 seed and Miami the No. 2 seed, well ... there ya go.

By then, of course, it’s a matter of how healthy are these teams? Is Dwyane Wade broken down?

How are Brooklyn’s veterans holding up?

It’s questions like these that make you understand -- when you really think about it unbiasedly -- why Nets coach Jason Kidd has said repeatedly why he won’t extend Kevin Garnett’s minutes -- even in the playoffs.

Kidd has to get his veterans both into the postseason and through a possible run.

It’s not going to be easy.

But a matchup between these two teams would sure be fun, wouldn’t it?

While it still feels like it would be tough for the Nets to beat the Heat four more times -- and they’d definitely be considered heavy underdogs against the two-time defending champions -- maybe they can do it.

Just know this:

These three teams beat the Heat three times in a season during the Big Three era:

2012-13 Knicks 3-1

2011-12 Celtics 3-1

2010-11 Celtics 3-1

2010-11 Bulls 3-0

The bottom three teams were eliminated by the Heat in the playoffs.

Question: What do you think about a Nets-Heat playoff matchup? Think Brooklyn could pull the upset? Let us know in the comments section.

In case you missed it: Well, you missed an amazing game. I broke it down in the blog. Our friends at ESPN Stats & Information took a look at Pierce's performance.

Stat of the day: The Nets are an Eastern Conference-best 23-9 since Jan. 1.

Up next: The Nets don’t play again until Saturday night in D.C. They’re in Miami until then.