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Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Nets 'still confident' that they can beat Heat

By Ohm Youngmisuk

MIAMI -- The Brooklyn Nets remain confident that if they clean up some of their defensive breakdowns, they can turn things around in Game 2 against the Miami Heat.

“We still confident,” Andray Blatche said before Nets practice at the American Airlines Arena. “We know what it takes to win tomorrow.”

Mario Chalmers
The Nets couldn't stop the Heat in the paint during Game 1.
“We had it,” Blatche added of being only down 46-43 at the half before falling 107-86 in Game 1. “We had it in our hands. It slipped away. So today we’re going to go over some of the mistakes we made and so we don’t make [them] tomorrow."

The biggest adjustment Jason Kidd’s team might need to make is an attitude adjustment -- particularly on defense and in the paint.

The Nets let the Heat do pretty much whatever they wanted inside, as Miami outscored Brooklyn 52-28 in points in the paint. They barely even laid a finger on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, as the two stars shot a combined two free throws. And the Nets allowed the defending champs to shoot 56.8 percent from the field without much resistance at all.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett -- the two veterans who set the tone for the team with their leadership and experience -- opted not to talk to reporters at practice on Wednesday.

The two talked before and after Game 1 but chose to remain silent on Wednesday. Pierce reiterated his confidence that the Nets can rebound after the opening loss.

"It was a three-point game at the half, fellas,” Pierce said Tuesday night. “We are not overreacting. We feel like we still can get a game in this building.”

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra repeated that over and over again after Miami's practice and warned that the Heat cannot have a letdown against a veteran team like the Nets.

LeBron James said he expects Pierce and Garnett to come out swinging in Game 2.

“Their championship DNA,” James said of what he expects to see from his former Celtics rivals on Thursday. “We understand the type of aggression they’re going to come with tomorrow. We have to be ready for it and we have to counter in with our own aggression, as well. If we get to our game, we give ourselves a good chance to win Game 2."

Deron Williams, who scored 17 points in Game 1, believes the Nets will have all their issues addressed going into Game 2.

"We know a lot of the things we did wrong defensively,” Williams said. “We made a lot of mistakes in our defensive game plan.”

“When we look at the tape I think we’ll be able to figure it out,” Williams added. “But I think a lot of it was mental. I think a lot of it was breakdowns in the game plan. Switching when we weren’t supposed to be switching ... our help-side defense wasn’t there, getting beat on cuts ... little things that if you do them over and over, they can definitely cost you."

Something tells Wade that the series will begin to resemble some of the old Heat-Celtics battles and that Pierce and Garnett will respond with the attitude the Nets need to have in Game 2.

“That Game 1 for them and for us was a feeling-out process,” Wade said. “And it’s gonna get more into it as the series goes on in Game 2 and obviously Game 3 in Brooklyn. It’s gonna start feeling a little more like those old playoff kind of games [between the Heat and Celtics].”