Fortune often plays a key part anytime a repeat champion occurs in sports. For the Miami Heat, being based in the Eastern Conference is one in itself. Gone are the formidable yearly challenges from the Chicago Bulls or Boston Celtics.

There truly isn’t a formidable foe in their way. Some would say how can I say that? Their next opponent in the Brooklyn Nets swept them in the regular season. As Paul Pierce said in his postgame interview, the regular season and post season are completely different.

Those games in the regular season were down to the wire games, that happened to fall the Nets way.

Everyone knows the Heat were protecting Dwayne Wade all season long. The production from the Heat’s bench wasn’t as strong as it was in prior years either.

If the Nets had not went seven games with the Raptors then I would have gave them a fighting chance. Instead they had to expend an enormous amount of energy to rescue their season in game six and seven.

This is from a roster of veterans. Deron Williams is relatively young but has lost his quick feet and appears to not be at 100 percent. Paul Pierce still can come to play effectively but it’s in minor stretches now. Kevin Garnett is going to continue to bring the playoff energy we are use to seeing from him.

The player that killed the Heat in the regular season is assuredly going to garner the Heat’s main focus, in Joe Johnson.

Elevating their team defense has been a bankable catalyst for the Heat playoff runs. They stymied the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, who have some of the best offensive weapons in the game.

Rested and hungry for another title the Heat will be prepared to take the life out of the Nets.

It’s one thing to come back in a series against a team that has zero playoff experience, and another to battle a team that wants another ring.

Brooklyn is in the same form that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had in Boston. A few years ago they could battle in series by being catalysts night in and night out. It just can’t be counted on anymore from them.

If Brooklyn had a healthy Deron Williams as expected than this would be a very scary team. But health is not at an optimal level for the Nets right now. Maybe they should have protected Deron more with rest like the Heat did with Dwayne Wade.

In the offseason if the Nets can keep everyone and add a young top draft prospect or free agent they could be the face of the East next season.

Expect Miami to trounce the Nets in game one and win a closer game two. I then expect the Heat to fight back in game three after trailing to suck the last bit of life out of Brooklyn. From there a game four win may go to Brooklyn, but being behind 3-0 is a death blow to just about any series. Against the Heat though you can start booking your vacation plans early as a Net.


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