Miami has had a rivalry with the New York Knicks dating back to the playoff battles they had in the late 1990s, and in recent years, the Heat have had a similar relationship with the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics as a result of their playoff encounters.
A new rivalry seems to be developing with, of all teams, the Brooklyn Nets.
The two teams will have the first of four meetings this season tonight (Nov. 1) in Brooklyn.
This relationship may seem rather strange, but it comes from personnel moves made during the offseason.
That’s when Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry all moved from the Celtics to the Nets.
Garnett and Pierce in particular were key figures for Boston when the Heat and Celtics clashed in the playoffs three consecutive years.
The Celtics won the 2010 series, but the Heat won in 2011 and 2012 after LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Miami to form the “Big Three” with Dwyane Wade. That seemed to ratchet things up a notch, and then last year when former Celtic Ray Allen left Boston and joined the Heat as a free agent it exacerbated the bad feelings even more.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman recapped the situation as the two teams, who met twice in the preseason, got ready to meet for real.
“There have been battles and certainly dislike," said Wade, who is expected to be back in the lineup after sitting out the Heat’s Wednesday night loss at Philadelphia to rest his knees.
All that adds a bit of spice to what in the past would have been a rather routine early season NBA game. With baseball season over and no NFL game to conflict, ESPN would seem to have caught the top sports viewing attraction for the night. Tip is at 8 p.m. ET.