For the third time in 16 days, the Miami Heat will play the Brooklyn Nets, only this time it counts. After losing both preseason meetings, the Heat (1-1) will get its first shot that counts against the revamped Nets (0-1) Friday night at Barclays Center.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were not on the floor together at any point in the two preseason losses to the Nets. They are all expected to play Friday.
The Nets have never defeated James in the regular season since he joined the Heat, and will be trying to snap a 13-game losing streak. Now Brooklyn has the highest payroll in the NBA and will tip off its home schedule against Miami as they start a new era after acquiring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry in a trade with the Boston Celtics.
In the Nets only game this season, a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, point guard Deron Williams scored just seven points but had nine assists as he continued to recover from an ankle sprain. Brook Lopez scored 21 in the opening game while Pierce has 17 points and Garnett had 10 rebounds.
The Heat are coming off a surprising loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. James had 25 points and Bosh had 22 while Wade sat out and was replaced in the starting lineup by Roger Mason Jr. Something to keep an eye on his how Shane Battier plays. In the first game, a dominating win against the Chicago Bulls, Battier made 4-of-4 three-point attempts. In the loss to the 76ers, however, he missed all seven of the three-pointers he attempted.
The Heat and Nets will be aired on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET Friday.