Starting Five: Collision course with Heat?

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
6:00
AM ET
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.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8