The Heat continued to prove their doubters and haters wrong yesterday, obliterating the Nets 101-78 in New Jersey for three wins in a row.
Miami had just slaughtered the behemoth that is Orlando two nights earlier, 96-70, proving to all the world they had the kryptonite for the Magic’s Superman, Dwight Howard; holding him to zero points in the second half, and only 19 points for the game as they slashed and drove their way to fouling him out midway through the fourth-quarter.
After a brief respite, where Dwyane Wade enjoyed a Saturday night celebrating the birthday of his girlfriend, Gabrielle Union, by dressing up as Justin Timberlake for a costume party in her honor, the Heat flew up to Newark, NJ to take on the surprisingly undefeated New Jersey Nets.
The franchise from the Garden State, led by the impressive play of point guard Devin Harris and center Brook Lopez, had found a way to engineer dramatic comeback wins over the Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings, winning more games in their first two games than they’d recorded in their first 20 last year en route to an NBA-worst (and near record for futility) 12-70 record.
I’m sure even most Heat-hating critics of the Miami franchise and the “Three Kings” recognized it wasn’t likely the Nets would find a way to beat Miami, but if you’d asked them, I don’t doubt for a minute they would have joyously crowed, “It’s not beyond the realm of imagination New Jersey could beat Miami.”
This despite the fact the Heat had swept the four-game season series last year, and were obviously a much, much better team than that squad (comprised mainly of Wade and not much else in terms of superstar talent).
Miami now boasts arguably the two best players in the NBA, along with one of the top five power forwards in the game; not to mention a bench filled with talented players who are unique in their ability to fill the roles around the superstar troika the Heat demand of them
Regardless of their hater’s inability to grasp the reality that New Jersey, despite their 2-0 record; despite the great play of Harris and Lopez; and despite the fact they were playing at home and coached by Avery Johnson, hadn’t a prayer coming into the game, Miami suited up and showed up, and promptly showed them the error of their ways.
Right from the start the game was an absolute joke, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and even Chris Bosh, dominated the hapless players on the Nets. Simply put, New Jersey was overwhelmed right from the tip.
After three quarters the game was an absolute laugher, as the Heat put in most of their reserves, sitting Wade and Bosh throughout the entire fourth quarter, and LeBron for all but a minute or two of the last period.
In the end, Miami walked away with their third-straight win, and their second-consecutive blowout.
Once again they put on a defensive display that showed why they’re likely to keep their opponents under 90 points a game for the season without even breaking a sweat.
LeBron tied the Nets’ Lopez for a game-high 20 points on the night on 5-of-12 shooting, including 10-of-12 from the charity stripe, to go along with seven rebounds, seven assists, and two steals in just under 29 minutes.
Bosh was the second-leading scorer for the Heat, pouring in 18 points on an incredibly efficient shooting performance of 8-of-10 from the floor, although he was able to only pull down one rebound and dish out a couple of assists in his nearly 26 minutes.
Wade, surprisingly, only managed 17 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 8-of-12 from the free-throw line, but hauled in six boards, dished out seven dimes, and logged two steals and a blocked shot, while only turning the ball over once in his 27 minutes in the game.
Studying the stat sheet in front of him after the game, Wade was incredulous, asking his teammate LeBron, “Is this the first-half stats? Nine shots?”
“That’s the whole game,” LeBron replied.
Dwyane wasn’t required to carry the team on his back, and yet the Heat were able to completely dominate the Nets without even trying hard. That’s because Wade now has a cast of superstars around him who can carry the load on any given night, as they did yesterday.
No one would claim the Heat are going to win every game by more than twenty points, but with the talent they have on the South Beach Superteam, I think people better get used to seeing scores like yesterday’s and Friday’s, and seeing the “Three Kings” sit out most final periods laughing.
Miami is simply going to destroy the rest of the NBA all year long. They did it to the 76ers (don’t let that 10-point final victory fool you, it wasn’t even close to being that close of a game), the Magic, and the Nets, and are looking to do the same to the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night.
Tags: Avery Johnson Boston Celtics Brook Lopez Chris Bosh Detroit Pistons Devin Harris Dwight Howard Dwyane Wade Gabrielle Union Justin Timberlake Kryptonite Lebron James Miami Heat Minnesota Timberwolves NBA New Jersey Nets Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers Sacramento Kings South Beach Superteam Superman Three Kings