Starting Five: LeBron tweaks Nets after loss

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9
6:00
AM ET
Miami Heat star LeBron James scoffed at the question.

Are the Nets your biggest challenge in the East?

James chuckled, then said: “Get outta here Craig. Next question.”

SportsNation

Are you convinced the Nets are a legitimate contender for the Eastern Conference crown?

  •  
    51%
  •  
    49%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,642)

Bulletin-board material?

You bet.

And take this into account: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Nets are the first team to sweep a team with LeBron James in a four-game regular season series in his entire career.

Maybe it doesn’t matter to James. And it shouldn’t. He is, after all, a defending two-time NBA champion.

But it definitely matters to the Nets. They’ve proven time and time again that they can beat the Heat -- not only at home, but also on the road.

Miami appears to be a good matchup for Brooklyn. The Nets seem to have the advantage in terms of size and depth. In each one of their four wins over the Heat, it seems like someone different has stepped up to lead the way.

The playoffs are another thing entirely. But this sure would make for a good series, wouldn’t it?

I mean, anytime you can pit James against Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, that’s a wonderful thing.

Question: What do you think about James’ comment? Let us know in the comments section below.

In case you missed it: Mason Plumlee came up huge.

Crazy, huh: The Nets are 4-30 when trailing after three quarters. Joe Johnson missed his first shot this season in the final 10 seconds with the Nets winning or losing by three or fewer points, the 3-pointer right before Plumlee’s heroic block of LeBron’s dunk attempt. Brooklyn has won three straight games in six of seven. The Nets are 19-1 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the field and 22-4 when outrebounding their opponent. Brooklyn is the first team to sweep Miami in a four-game, regular-season series since 2007-08. Pierce is five points shy of becoming the 18th member of the 25,000 career point club.

Up next: Nets at Magic on Wednesday night

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Joe Johnson
PTS AST STL MIN
16.5 3.8 0.9 35.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 7.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.6
StealsJ. Jack 1.1
BlocksB. Lopez 1.5