Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets - 5/6/14
Brooklyn Nets (44-38) at Miami Heat (54-28)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm (AmericanAirlines Arena)
The Line: Miami Heat -7 -- Over/Under: 193.5 See the Latest Odds
The Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat kick off the series with Game 1 tonight.
Miami could not have kicked off their run for a three-peat any better as they made light work of the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round, sweeping them easy to earn themselves a lengthy break before the second round. Of course, the Heat can only go as far as LeBron James can carry them and he did that in style in the first round with averages of 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Dwyane Wade quietly averaged 17.5 ppg. The Heat will probably need more from Chris Bosh who averaged just 14.5 points and against the Nets, they'll definitely need more from Ray Allen who averaged a measly 3.3 points despite averaging over 20 minutes per game.
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As for the Nets, Joe Johnson had a fantastic series averaging 21.9 points, while Deron Williams averaged 16.9 points and 5.6 assists, but against the Heat, you just know that the Nets will need more production from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Pierce's overall production in the series of 13.4 points is far from his best, but he'll definitely play a larger role, especially defensively where he'll have to match up against LeBron. Meanwhile, coach Kidd has Garnett on a minutes restriction all season but you just get the feeling that those restrictions will be removed at some point in this series.
Head to head, the Nets are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings overall and 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings in Miami.
The Nets won all four meetings with the Heat in the regular season and that has to give them a major psychological advantage. Of course, the playoffs provide teams with a whole new challenge but you have to say that even without Brook Lopez, the Nets match up with the Heat quite nicely and we could see another seven-game series. For this game, I like well-rested Heat to draw first blood and get the win, but I'd prefer the Nets with the points in what should be a half-court grind.