The two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat have a losing record after falling to the Brooklyn Nets 101-100 in the Nets home opener on Friday. The loss makes two straight for LeBron James and company, dropping them to a losing record of 1-2 on the new NBA season.
Not as a bad or concerning of a loss as the first loss of the season to the Philadelphia 76ers, the current record is probably not a reason for major concern but do showcase that a third straight NBA championship will be no walk in the park. Philadelphia is nowhere near a contender this season, being given an astonishing 9,999 to 1 odds to win the championship. Oddsmakers say the odds would have been even higher had the computer systems allowed them to do so.
On Friday the Brooklyn Nets snapped a 13 game losing streak against the Miami Heat that went back over four years, perhaps rekindling the competitiveness in the rivalry.
Assembling a veteran squad in the offseason, the Nets acquisitions paid dividends immediately by showing they can hang with the best in the league.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce showed that they still have some gas left in the tank after leaving the Boston Celtics after last season. Pierce had 19 points on the night and along with Joe Johnson hit clutch free throws down the stretch to survive a ten point comeback by the Heat in the fourth quarter.
“It was good that we got a taste of this type of atmosphere this early in the season to try to see where we’re at,” Paul Pierce said after the victory. “Miami, whenever they come into town, they’re a measuring stick for everybody, so it was good for us to come out and get the win.”
Garnett’s night was not as impressive, notching just six points and seven rebounds.
Joe Johnson was the star alongside Pierce, adding 19 points of his own on the night.
Garnett spoke highly of Pierce after the game, even adding in a new nickname for the veteran star. Calling Pierce Picasso, KG explained that he uses that nickname because “he’s like a beautiful painting, man, a beautiful painting I get to watch every night.”
LeBron James and the Miami Heat should not overreact to the losing start, it is a long season with 79 games left to be played before the playoffs. The Heat should easily rebound to make the playoffs, somewhere they have found an abundance of success since James took his talents to South Beach.
All that we have learned is that this Heat team is not invincible, the NBA postseason could be interesting. Perhaps a new champion will finally be crowned in the Finals.