Last night, we were at the Barclays Center as the 2-time defending champion Heat visited the Brooklyn Zoo to take on the new-look Nets. Before the game, Jason Kidd‘s jersey was raised to the rafters during a touching tribute. With Wade out, and the Heat looking lethargic, the Nets — and bench big man Andray Blatche — dominated for long stretches against the champs.
The game started close, but the Nets had pulled away by the half, particularly behind a superior second team. That second team was led by the 3-point shooting of Alan Anderson and the heady play of Andray Blatche. Although we’re still not sure what that chopping the arm move is called during his “cookie dance.”
Before we get to Blatche, let’s discuss Nets rookie center Mason Plumlee. The former Dukie worked his tail off with the second team recording 8 points, 8 boards a block and a steal in 23 minutes. Plumlee even threw a head fake at former Italian league player Eric Griffin that led to this remarkable moment.
We saw ‘Bron and Chris Bosh enjoying it on the bench.
The Heat might have enjoyed that moment with camp invite Griffin, but they were overwhelmed by the staunch defense of the Nets. ‘Bron had a couple moments doing ‘Bron things, and Bosh had a couple crafty spin moves on the low block, but the Nets held the Heat to just 28 first half points and just 9 points in the fourth quarter. Miami’s second team looked lost, and Blatche was an all-around beast, knocking down mid-range jumpers, grabbing rebounds and even dishing this no-look over-the-shoulder pass to Plumlee for the slam:
Paul Pierce struggled from behind the arc, and Kevin Garnett hit the game’s opening shot before slipping back to the bench for the usual preseason rest. But the former Celtics’ production didn’t matter. Brook Lopez controlled the paint against an undersized Heat front-court (Greg Oden and Chris Andersen didn’t play), and Alan Anderson’s 3-point shooting against the Heat’s second team in the second quarter gave the Nets a 44-28 halftime lead the Heat never recovered from.
For what feels like the hundredth time, this is the preseason, so lets not read as much into the game as the woman behind me who kept repeating a tired refrain throughout the second half of “the Heat suck.” They did last night — particularly that second unit — but we doubt that lasts.
In the end, the night was about Brooklyn’s coach, Jason Kidd:
What do you think?
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