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Game #55: Miami Heat (27-27) vs. New Jersey Nets (5-48)

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Use this post for your Open Game Thread. 

The Heat have a great opportunity tonight; to win the first two games after the All-Star break after winning the last two games before the All-Star break.  And Miami couldn't have asked for a better opponent to do that against, as they will play the New Jersey Nets, holders of the fewest wins in the NBA.  Granted, the Nets are coming off of a big road win in Charlotte last night (and thank you for that, New Jersey), but the Heat should still be able to take care of business tonight.

The rotation that Erik Spoelstra has been using couldn't be working better.  During the Heat's winning streak, the ‘reserve unit' consisting of starter Jermaine O'Neal, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, Daequan Cook and Carlos Arroyo, has expanded the lead each and every time they have started the 2nd quarter together. 

FYI- The Heat have been involved in some intriguing trade talks in the past few days.  Right now there is a supposed deal on the table that would send Daequan Cook, Dorell Wright, Mario Chalmers and Quentin Richardson to the Suns in exchange for Amare Stoudemire, but according to ESPN.com the Heat have yet to offer anything of value to the Suns. 

"I'm not sure Miami is willing to pay the price for Amare," a Suns source told ESPN.com. "We have to get something for him. We're not giving him away. If Miami gets serious, then I think they would get him. But right now, they are not showing they're serious."

That sounds pretty ‘Pat Riley' to me.  The Heat were also involved in talks with San Antonio to acquire Roger Mason, but those talks were based on the Heat absorbing the contract while using the trade exception they got when dealing Marcus Banks last season, but that exception expired on Monday at midnight. 

GAME NOTES

  • This Heat team is the 5th in the franchise's history to hold opponents under 80 points in 3 straight games.  The last time it happened was in November of 2002. 
  • During their 3-game win streak, the Heat have shot over 50% while holding their opponents under 40%. 
  • The Heat have won 4 of 5 against the Nets, but lost their last meeting to New Jersey. 
  • The dreaded stat, Miami is 3-8 on the 2nd night of back-to-backs.  They did, however, win the last game, which came in Atlanta. 
  • Not to worry, the Nets are 0-13 on the 2nd night of the b2b, having played last night in Charlotte. 
  • Mario Chalmers is listed as doubtful.  No reason to rock the boat...

Tipoff from that old arena in the Meadowlands is set for 7:30.  New Jersey is 3-21 at home.  I blame the Heat's completely sporadic play this season for that little seed of ‘oh no' buried deep in my stomach.  But I also had that feeling in Atlanta, and last night in Philly, so hopefully I'll continue to be proven wrong until the Heat are playing...dare I say...consistently.