The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets begin their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup tonight, Tuesday May 6th, in South Beach. The Heat struggled against one team that they weren’t able to conquer, not even in four tries, and that was the Nets. Despite the Nets success, oddsmakers still have the Heat as -8 point home favorites over the Nets. The total is currently listed at 192 points. This is the third time the two franchises will meet in the postseason and the results have been one-sided. Miami swept the Nets in the first round in 2005, then dispatched them in the second round one year later, 4-1. Be sure to check the NBA Odds for all games on tap.
The Nets (4-3, 2-2 V) played Sunday afternoon and barely hung on to beat the Toronto Raptors in a Game 7 at the Air Canada Centre. They flew right to South Beach to get started on preparation for this second round.
Joe Johnson has really emerged as the go-to guy for the Nets and I expect him to shoulder most of the scoring load as he has done thus far this postseason. However, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will not make it easy and will make sure he works for everything he gets. Wade missed two of the four regular season matchups with the Nets and will change the dynamic of this series on both ends.
Joe Johnson averaged 21.6 points against the Raptors and dominated the post against the smaller guards trying to cover him. Deron Williams improved his play tremendously, averaging 17.1 ppg and staying aggressive throughout, at least in Brooklyn’s victories. Williams tweaked his chronically bad ankle in the Toronto series, but played through it.
The Nets don’t have a ton of shot-blocking on the floor, so Miami’s attackers should be able to score in the paint if the team sustains its usual process, but the player who can really take advantage of Brooklyn’s smaller lineups is Chris Bosh.
The Nets’ blueprint for beating the Heat in the regular season was simple: play the game at their pace (slow), while limiting Miami’s second-chance and transition opportunities.
The Heat (4-0, 2-0 H) swept an injured Charlotte Bobcats team in the first round. The Heat played decently, but they’ve been out of action since Monday night. The long wait can work as a positive in that players can get fully healthy, but also a negative if the team loses it sharpness.
During the Bobcats series, James averaged 30.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.3 steals. Chris Bosh was decent versus Charlotte with 14.5 ppg, but he shot a ridiculous 69 percent from 3-point range. Dwyane Wade, who missed a lot of time in the regular season, averaged 17.5 ppg during the Charlotte sweep, which was down a touch from the campaign.
Recent Betting Trends to Consider:
Nets are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Miami.
Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
Nets are 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings in Miami.
Road team is 21-10 ATS in the last 31 meetings.
Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
Brooklyn at Miami
When: Tuesday May 6@9:30 PM ET
Pick: Heat -8
The Bottom Line: it’s never a good idea to pick against LeBron. There’s a reason he’s won four MVPs and two championships. It would be shocking if the Nets were somehow able to pull the upset. We recommend you sign up with Bovada to receive a 10% sign up bonus heading into the Brooklyn vs Miami game.