Miami seeks to stay undefeated at home against the 2-3 Nets, conveniently missing emerging star Devin Harris at the point. Unfortunately, Keyon Dooling is capable of getting pretty damn hot when given the chance, as Heat fans will recall, and he'll keep Mario Chalmers plenty busy tonight.
Not that they haven't been holding their own against the powerhouse frontcourts, but Miami's Udonis Haslem/Michael Beasley combo gets a good draw tonight in center Josh Boone, power forward Yi Jianlian and reserve bigs Ryan Anderson and Brook Lopez. That group kind of epitomizes the Nets' aesthetic: nothing all that spectacular, but not a huge dropoff from starter to backup either. The Nets go 10 deep or so even without Harris, so they'll test the depth of the banged-up Heat, as they did on the two-game European tour last month.
Matchup of the night: Vince Carter vs. Dwyane Wade.
Vince can still get buckets with the best of them when he's motivated, which is always a question with him. It will be interesting to see how he plays without Harris to set him up. Wade, meanwhile, has been on an all-around tear lately, and should be able to keep it moving against Carter. Shawn Marion may have a hand in checking Carter at times, as the limited Bobby Simmons shares the wing in New Jersey.
Opposing player I'm scared of: Jarvis Hayes.
I've always liked Hayes, and I'm hoping he finds a long-term home somewhere or other. He seems like the kind of guy who will step up when a major piece goes down, though he didn't do it Saturday, scoring 5 points in 30 minutes in Harris' first missed game. Still, I have a feeling he's due for a strong showing.