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GAME PREVIEW: Heat visit Durant and the Nets

The Miami Heat will take on the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Here’s what you need to know.

Orlando Magic v Miami Heat Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images


The Miami Heat will look to build their early-season resume by taking on the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.

The Nets (2-2) are coming off a win over the Washington Wizards and have played all four of their games without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. Miami (2-1) is hoping that they can have a better offensive output than they did on their first road test when they scored 92 points in an overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

The Nets recently made a change and inserted Bruce Brown into the starting lineup over Claxton. It has worked in their favor so far, and we think they’ll continue. But these starting lineups offer the ultimate set of cross matchups that Spo will work through. Obviously, the Heat are a heavy switching team, but here’s how I see the opening matchups working from Miami’s defensive perspective:

Jimmy Butler on James Harden
Bam Adebayo on Kevin Durant
PJ Tucker on Blake Griffin
Kyle Lowry on Joe Harris
Duncan Robinson on Bruce Brown

That would maximize Miami’s ability to cause the Nets so trouble scoring the ball, however, switches would complicate things, especially with Duncan Robinson — the Heat simply cannot allow D-Rob to be guarding James Harden or Kevin Durant.

Now, Harden has not been himself so far this season so that has been an issue. But KD has been good. And the Heat have three really solid defenders to throw at him: Bam, Jimmy, and PJ. Could be a long night if KD isn’t in a rhythm from the start.


The Heat was able to maintain Terrance Ross last night. As a #RSHK they were able to survive and eliminate Ross as an issue. Can they do it again with another known vigilante of the #RSHK in Patty Mills? Off the bench, he’s averaging 14.5 PPG and is 16-25 from threes this season. I don’t want to watch Patty Mills beat us, so let’s STOP HIM.

The KEY MATCHUP is James Harden and Jimmy Butler. There’s really nobody on Brooklyn’s roster who can stop Jimmy from getting what he wants if he puts himself in the right place. If Jimmy can keep Harden to continue his early-season struggle (he’s averaging less than three FTA this season), then Miami should be in great shape. A 20+ point night for Harden will be troublesome for Miami.

Two great teams in the East, but the NBA chose to put Hawks-Pelicans on national TV...




  • Victor Oladipo - out (knee; surgery rehab)


  • Kyrie Irving - out (not with team)


Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Jayson Tatum SF Jimmy Butler
Al Horford PF PJ Tucker
Robert Williams III C Bam Adebayo


RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

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