The preseason, which has went on way too long, will finally come to a close tonight when the Brooklyn Nets visit the Miami Heat in south beach. And for the first time all preseason, the Nets might actually be healthy. Every player on their roster could perhaps play tonight, even Deron Williams, Toko Shengelia, and Andrei Kirilenko.
Deron had his best practice of the season yesterday, going 5-on-5 and even dunking, and we know he would love to play in this game to shake off some rust and also improve chemistry with his teammates prior to the regular season tipoff. Deron hasn’t been healthy since before training camp, so we have yet to see if he will be on the same page as some of his new teammates, mainly Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
The other big injury concern for Brooklyn recently has been Andrei Kirilenko, but he may play as well tonight if his back is feeling better. He expects to be ready for the regular season opener next Wednesday in Cleveland even if he can’t go tonight. Toko Shengelia may also make his preseason debut, and Jason Terry will play in his second preseason game after looking pretty rusty on Wednesday in Boston.
Last Thursday in Brooklyn, the Nets without Kirilenko and Williams, blew out Miami and held them to only 62 points. However, Dwyane Wade did not play for the Heat. Wade expects to be in the lineup tonight, but Lebron James will have the night off. Greg Oden, who played in his first game since 2009 on Wednesday, may see another 5 minutes or so of playing time.
Even though this is still just a preseason game, the Nets would definitely like to come down to Miami and beat the defending champs on their home court prior to hosting this same team in their home opener a week from today.