First, the Brooklyn Nets retired the jersey of the best player in their franchise’s history, Jason Kidd. Then, they went on to crush the defending champion Miami Heat, 86-62, in a meaningless preseason game. The Nets played well throughout the game, but especially in the first half on defense, where they held Miami to only 28 points and 30% shooting. Brooklyn was led by Brook Lopez’s 14 points and 5 rebounds. Joe Johnson, Andray Blatche, and Alan Anderson all also scored in double figures. Lebron James and Chris Bosh each scored 16 for Miami while Dwyane Wade did not play.
Jason Kidd requested to have the retirement ceremony in the preseason to not distract him and the rest of his team for a regular season game, and that seems like it was the right decision. The ceremony featured a speech from Kidd and his former general manager Rod Thorn. During timeouts, Barclays Center showed video tributes from Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson, and Vince Carter. Brooklyn did a nice job of honoring Jason Kidd’s career with the New Jersey Nets.
The game itself was not close. The Nets did a very good job defending Lebron James even without their secret weapon, Andrei Kirilenko. He still finished with a couple of spectacular plays.
Offensively, the Nets were not great, but they were good enough. They did not shoot well at all from deep, but they took advantage of their size to outrebound Miami 53-31. This gave the Nets a lot of second chance points, which was the key to this win. Another reason for the big margin was that Miami did not help itself from the foul line at all. They shot a miserable 15-35 from the line.
Coming into this game, I was hoping that Miami would play something resembling their full team, but this did not happen. Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem, and many others were held out of tonight’s game so it was difficult to see how improved the Nets are from last year against Miami’s depleted bench.
Still, the Nets looked great tonight and are now 4-1 in the preseason with only 2 games remaining, one in Boston and one in Miami. The game against Boston will be next Wednesday and FRWD will have full coverage of that one.