The Miami Heat have followed up their NBA championship with a strong start to the 2012-2013 campaign.
Despite, their blowout loss to the New York Knicks, the Heat have been dominant in the early going. They’ve won by an average of just fewer than 14 points in their three victories.
In the two years that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have played together, Miami has been dominant on the defensive end. This season, the Heat have won their games in a different way.
Miami has been the best offensive team in the league. Through four games, the Heat are averaging 111.8 points per game. In each of their wins, they’ve scored at least 119 points.
On Wednesday night, the Heat will look to keep their high-scoring going against the Brooklyn Nets. It’ll be the first time that the two teams will meet, since the Nets moved from New Jersey.
Due to their opener being postponed because of Hurricane Sandy, Brooklyn has played just two games this season. The way the Nets have played in both contests doesn’t bode well for their chances against the Heat.
Brooklyn is 1-1, but has allowed at least 100 points in each game. They especially struggled on Monday, giving up 32 points in the fourth quarter in their loss to the Timberwolves.
The loss of Gerald Wallace hampered Brooklyn in their loss to Minnesota, and will continue to hurt them against Miami. The small forward will miss his second straight game with a sprained ankle. Wallace made the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2010.
If the Nets are able to pull off the upset, it will likely be in a high-scoring affair. The Heat have the second-worst defense in the league, allowing 106.5 points per contest.
The Nets new backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson may be the best in basketball. The two are averaging a combined 35 points a game.
Las Vegas oddsmakers expect Miami to win comfortably. The consensus betting line has the Heat as 10-point favorites.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at AmericanAirlines Arena. You can watch a live stream online by purchasing NBA League Pass Broadband.
Prediction: It’s been almost impossible for opponents to stop the Heat this season. James, Wade and Bosh all average over 20 points per game. Brooklyn isn’t strong on defense and is a weak rebounding team. Miami’s defense has struggled, so the Nets will keep it close for a while, but the Heat simply have too much firepower to lose this one at home.
Predicted Score: Miami 116, Brooklyn, 101