HHH Gametime Preview: Heat host Nets hoping to close series in Game 5

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are looking to again gain some rest before heading into the next round. In order to do that, they'll need to hold of the Brooklyn Nets in Miami for Game 5.

Paul Pierce asked to guard LeBron James in Game 4, hoping to contain him because of his experience and disregard for fear of him. LeBron scored 22 apiece in Games 1 and 2, and a respectful 28 in Game 3 -- as close to "containing" LeBron as you will get. And in Game 4, LeBron scored 49 points as he led the Heat to the victory.

Tonight, LeBron and the Heat look to be the first team into the Conference Finals, and they could warrant some more rest. The Indiana Pacers failed to close out the Washington Wizards last night, losing by 23 points at home. Their Game 6 is on Thursday night. Close out games are always the hardest, but the Heat haven't lost a home closeout game since LeBron has been here.

Spoelstra, on his players' ability to close teams out, "I think all of that is borne out of respect to understand how difficult it is."

In Game 5, the Heat should expect better contributions from their role players. Rashard Lewis, Norris Cole, and Chris Andersen were mostly quiet, although not entirely ineffective. In Game 3, everyone was out of sync, and Game 4 saw LeBron take over the entire offense. At home, Cole, Lewis and even Battier can be more effective.

The every other day scheme seems to be taking a tole on Dwyane Wade, as he hasn't put up a big game yet against the Nets. If Miami wants to play far into June, they will need him to play better.

It's Game 5. We understand what's at stake. It's Game 7 for us from here on out. If we lose, it's over. If we win, we fight another day. We can only focus on Game 5 and one quarter at a time. -Jason Kidd

The Nets will do everything possible to stay alive tonight. Expect to see a desperate team, and maybe their best game yet. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson have played a lot of playoff games, this won't be new to them. Closing out the Bobcats without Al Jefferson is one thing, closing out a veteran team is another.

Regardless, the Heat expect to win tonight, and they should. Protecting home court will continue to be key for the Heat to advance and do it quickly. There's no injuries to report, everyone is available, and lineups are expected to remain the same.

The game tips off shortly after 7PM and can be seen on TNT. Make sure you tune in, join us on our GameThread going live an hour before the game, and check back for post game coverage.

Game 4 Highlights

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hot Hot Hoops

You must be a member of Hot Hot Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Hot Hoops. You should read them.

Join Hot Hot Hoops

You must be a member of Hot Hot Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Hot Hoops. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.