Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Starting five: Could be big night for Truth
By Ohm Youngmisuk
Paul Pierce has a chance to reach a major milestone against the Miami Heat and longtime rival LeBron James.
Pierce needs 19 more points to reach 25,000 career points. Whenever he reaches that milestone, he will become the 18th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points and just the fourth active player to do so, joining teammate Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki.
And Pierce has a chance to lead the Nets to a sweep over the Heat this season. No team has beaten the Heat four straight times in a regular season since the 2007-08 season.
It seems fitting that the Nets and Pierce can both have a big night together since Pierce has played such a large role in the Nets’ turnaround. Pierce’s move to power forward has coincided with the Nets posting the best record (32-13) in the East since Jan. 1.
Also, Pierce has been integral in the Nets’ success against Miami. Pierce is averaging 23.7 points and 53.8-percent shooting from the field against the Heat this season. He has shot 47.1 percent from behind the arc against Miami.
His aggressive play against the Heat has set the tone for the Nets. Pierce has made 21-of-24 free throws against Miami. No other Net has shot more than 11 free throws in the three wins over Miami.
So it could be a night to remember for Pierce for more reasons than one.
Up now: If you are into analytics and stats, check out ESPN’s new advanced metric and where the Nets players rank among the top players in the NBA.
Alonzo Mourning is going to the Hall of Fame. Seems fitting that two of his former teams go at it tonight in Miami.
Net fact: The Nets are the fourth team -– joining Chicago and Boston (twice) -- to beat the Heat three consecutive times since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces in 2010, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Pierce has been a member of three of those teams (Nets and Celtics twice).
What’s next: Nets at Heat at 8 p.m.
Question of the day: Who do you think the Nets would rather face between Miami (given their own regular-season success against the Heat) and Indiana (given the Pacers’ recent struggles) in a potential playoff series?