Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Deron Williams were all in street clothes as the Nets lost 114-85 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The loss dropped Brooklyn from the fifth seed to the sixth seed.
Brooklyn obviously believes that they have a better chance at beating a young Toronto team over the Chicago Bulls, who defeated the Nets in seven games in last year’s playoffs.
Looking further down the line Brooklyn really has their sights set on the Miami Heat. If Miami defeats Charlotte and Brooklyn beats Toronto, the Nets and Heat will meet in the second round of the playoffs.
Who would want to face the two-time NBA Champions in a seven game series? The answer is the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets swept Miami 4-0 in the regular season and believe that they have the Heat’s number. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are proud guys and want to get back at Miami (and former Celtic Ray Allen) for eliminating them from the playoffs in 2011 and 2012 while members of the Boston Celtics.
I’d caution the Nets to be careful what they ask for. Brooklyn has to get past Toronto first which will be no easy task, but even if they do the Heat are the reigning champions and the postseason is a lot different from the regular season.
In the 2011 season the top seeded Bulls swept the Heat 3-0 in the regular season. When the two teams met in the Eastern Conference Finals the Heat won 4-1.
Three of Brooklyn’s four regular season wins over Miami were by one point. Brooklyn won those four games by an average of three points. Two of those games were without All-Star Dwayne Wade.
Brooklyn’s success against the Heat is not indicative of what will happen in the playoffs, but you have to admire Brooklyn’s moxie for wanting to battle the big boys.