by TIMMY JOSEPH Staff Writer
In the semi-finals of the Eastern Conference in the 2014 NBA Playoffs, the sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets square-off against the second-seeded Miami Heat.
These two teams have established a fierce rivalry with each other that grows with every meeting.
In the regular season, these two teams met four times and Brooklyn won all four. This caused concern for some Miami fans, but others were sure that their team would win come playoff time.
Freshman Connor Angley said, “I know Brooklyn swept Miami in the regular season, but the Heat are a different animal in the playoffs.”
Those people were proven right in game one as the Heat destroyed the Nets 107-86 in Miami. LeBron James dropped 22 points and Ray Allen added 19. The Heat as a whole shot 57 percent from the floor, a remarkable stat in the NBA.
The Nets had a below average performance from their star players. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both had 17 points, but Paul Pierce only had eight and Kevin Garnett did not have any.
Freshman Dylan Turiano said, “I don’t know what Brooklyn was doing out there. It looked like they didn’t even want to win the game!”
The second game was much of the same story, as Miami cruised to a 94-82 win. James had 22 points while forward Chris Bosh had 18. Dwyane Wade also added 14 points, while Allen added 13 off the bench.
This also became the second straight game where five Heat players scored in double figures.
Once again, one of Brooklyn’s stars was held scoreless. This time it was Williams, who had the worst shooting game of his career. He took nine shots and missed all of them. The Heat set a franchise record with their eighth straight playoff win.
However, the Heat would not get their ninth straight win in Brooklyn, as the Nets got their first win of the series, 104-90.
A key part of this victory was the Nets’ success from the three-point line. They made 15 out of 25 three-point shots, an unbelievable performance by NBA standards.
The Heat suffered their first postseason loss this year, mainly due to their inability to score down the stretch. James was held to only two field goals in the last three quarters, and Allen provided nine points while starting point guard Mario Chalmers only had three points.
The Nets hit on all cylinders as Joe Johnson scored 19 points while backup center Andray Blatche had a playoff career high of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Pierce spoke out confidently about the win, saying, “They’re not unbeatable…we are not scared of them.”
With the Nets only one win away from tying the series, game four will be a crucial game for both teams. If the Nets win the series, it will be their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since moving to Brooklyn. If Miami wins, it will be their fourth consecutive trip to the conference finals.
Game four will be played in Brooklyn on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 8:00 P.M.
Who do you think will win the series and why?