Monday, May 5, 2014
Scout's take on Nets-Heat
By Mike Mazzeo
How can the Brooklyn Nets upset the Miami Heat?
ESPNNewYork.com spoke with an NBA scout to get his take:
1. The Nets need to find a matchup advantage in the post and exploit it.
The Nets went to Joe Johnson (6-foot-7, 250) in the post against Toronto, and no one on the Raptors could guard him. But the Heat could negate that size advantage by putting LeBron James on Johnson. That means the Nets would have to turn elsewhere. They could have an advantage by posting Deron Williams against Mario Chalmers. Williams needs to have a big series. The Nets could also try to run some 1-2 pick-and-rolls with Johnson and Williams, hoping to get a switch. The only problem with that is the Heat are really good at recovering, so they don’t get caught in switches. Shaun Livingston, who had a strong regular season against Miami, will probably also be a guy the Nets look to post up.
2. The one distinct advantage Brooklyn has is its bench, so it needs to produce.
Andrei Kirilenko could be the X factor guarding LeBron at times. Marcus Thornton, Andray Blatche and Mirza Teletovic are capable of scoring in bunches.
3. Offensively, it’s about having good ball movement and making open shots when they’re there. Also, it’s about making sure to limit the Heat in transition, because they’re at their best attacking on the break.
4. Defensively, it’s about making sure to be good in rotations and running Miami off the 3-point line. The Heat reserves are all really good shooters.
5. Winning Game 1 on the road, or at least gaining confidence via a close loss, is imperative. As is at least coming back to Brooklyn with a split.
6. The four regular-season wins over the Heat don’t mean a ton. In Game 1, the Nets had Brook Lopez. In Game 2, the Nets didn’t have Williams and the Heat didn’t have Dwyane Wade or Chalmers. In Game 3, the Nets didn’t have Kirilenko or Kevin Garnett. In Game 4, the Heat didn’t have Wade again. But that doesn’t mean the Nets can’t win some games or the entire series. Their chances of winning the series are slim, but it is possible.