After being swept 0-4 in the regular season, the Miami Heat came out strong and secured the first win of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals against the Brooklyn Nets.
Two-time NBA Championship MVP LeBron James scored 22 points and finished 10-for-15 from the field to beat the Nets 107-86 in Game 1. Ray Allen scored 19 points, Chris Bosh scored 15 points with 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 14, and Mario Chalmers scored 12.
To their disadvantage, the Nets had little rest time before facing the two-time defending Champions having just finished a dreadful seven game series against the Toronto Raptors. The Miami Heat, however, swept the Charlotte Bobcats 4-0 and had an eight day-long break before facing the Nets. The reigning Champs took the extra time to prepare themselves for the coming games.
“It was great that we were able to come out the way we did after being off eight days,” James said. “We got a lot of work in. We had eight days off of not playing a basketball game but [Erik Spoelstra] got us in the gym. [We] got each other in the gym. We made each other accountable throughout the layoff and it proved tonight.”
Former NBA Champions and Ray Allen’s former Boston Celtics teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had fans thinking this match up would be a difficult one for the Miami Heat as they would be facing the Celtics again.
It came as a small shock when the Nets didn’t appear to put up much of a fight. Coming close to gaining the lead – within three points from tying in the third quarter – the Brooklyn Nets didn’t have the right energy and power to do so. Paul Pierce scored 8 points and Kevin Garnett remained scoreless, only achieving four rebounds. As a team worthy of being in the playoffs, the Nets allowed more points than what was expected from a team with expert players.
“Our defensive game plan was not executed at all,” said Brooklyn Nets player Deron Williams in response to their lost to the Miami Heat.
The Brooklyn Nets are now 1-9 against the Miami Heat in the Playoffs. If the Nets’ defense continues to allow the Heat into the paint, it’s expected to see the Heat in the lead in the coming games.