Miami HEAT at Brooklyn Nets Game Preview
Photo Credit: David Sherman
The Miami HEAT face the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night at Barclays Center. Get your tickets now to the Road Rally at AmericanAirlines Arena! Tip-off is set for 8:00 PM, and television coverage is on FOX Sports Sun. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
1: What will you remember most from Dwyane Wade’s final night at AmericanAirlines Arena?
Couper Moorhead: It’s too early to tell. Writing this just hours after everything happened, it’s clear that it will take some time for the memories to crystalize. It all went according to plan, though, with the team’s celebratory videos – particularly having Wade’s son Zaire reenact the old Robbins, Illinois commercial – setting the mood, then the game turning into an easygoing blowout and both Wade and Udonis getting their time together in the final period. Even though he had hinted at it, Wade never seemed like he was trying to get as many shots up as he could, at least until his jumper got hot at the end. It was a feel-good night that needed to be nothing more. As long as Wade is happy with that, that’s all that matters. We’ll see what becomes iconic down the road.
Joe Beguiristain: For me, I’ll always remember the atmosphere.
You could just feel the electricity in the building before the fans even arrived, which just goes to show you the magnitude of the moment.
And as always, Dwyane Wade rose to the occasion and sent everyone home happy.
After going off for 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting in the fourth quarter, including a bunch of crazy threes, Wade addressed the crowd and stood up on the scorer’s table one final time to remind everyone that AmericanAirlines Arena is his house.
Simply put, it was a magical night.
2: Are there any important storylines at play Wednesday night?
Couper: Unfortunately, while the city of Miami was celebrating Wade, the Detroit Pistons were completing a 22-point comeback against a feisty Memphis Grizzlies squad, eliminating the HEAT from the playoffs. So there’s nothing really at stake for the HEAT Wednesday night, unless you want to count draft pick seeding which can’t change too much anyways. Everyone gets another night to enjoy watching Wade.
The Nets are playing for something, however, should they choose to. It’s always possible that they could prioritize a night of rest after going so hard after a playoff spot for so long, but if the Nets lose and the Orlando Magic win, the Magic will jump up to the No. 6 seed and the right to play Philadelphia instead of the Toronto Raptors.
Joe: Basketball-wise, not really.
As Coup mentioned above, the HEAT were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday night due to the Pistons’ comeback victory over the Grizzlies at home.
So, with that in mind, this is all about Wade’s final game. And while it’ll be hard to follow up such a remarkable storybook ending on Tuesday, Wade has defied the odds countless times before.
3: What is up next for the HEAT?
Couper: Wade will get his final sendoff, the team will come home and exit interviews will be scheduled, in the next week, following which most of the players will take some sort of break. We’ll hear from Pat Riley after that, and then it’s a wait until the Draft Lottery in mid-May and the 2019 Draft in late June. Of course, you can still enjoy the playoffs even if the HEAT aren’t in it – good basketball is better than no basketball – but it’s about to be a quiet few weeks while everyone gets ready for the draft process, which leads into July free agency and Summer League.
And with that, we’ll be signing off for a bit as well. Thanks to everyone for reading throughout the season. Until next year.
Joe: What he said.
Seriously, though, Coup laid out everything above, so I’ll just take this opportunity to also say thank you to everyone who read these previews all season long. Your support means a lot.
- The HEAT have won two of the three prior matchups with the Nets this season, including a 117-88 victory in their most recent meeting on March 2.
- Miami has dropped four of five and is 39-42, while Brooklyn has won two straight and enters the contest at 41-40.
- This will be Dwyane Wade’s final game. Wade ranks first in points, assists, steals, minutes, field goals made, free throws made, double-figure scoring efforts, games played and starts in franchise history.
- D’Angelo Russell leads the Nets in points (21.1), assists (7.0) and steals (1.2) per game.
- Josh Richardson (Left Hip Strain) is out.
- HEAT Offense: 106.9 (25)
- HEAT Defense: 107.1 (7)
- Nets Offense: 108.9 (19)
- Nets Defense: 109.2 (15)