1) Well, the Nets have moved out of New Jersey, and KJ James pointed out that it was his first time ever being in Brooklyn. That puts him one step ahead of me - I don't even know where Brooklyn is, even though I grew up in Connecticut. I know it is part of New York, but not Manhattan. By the way, I'm not smart - don't go by me...As for the game, it seemed a lot like most Heat-Nets games in New Jersey. A lot of cheers during Dwyane Wade's introduction, "MVP" chants for KJ James, and a medium-intensity game that was close for a while before the Heat kind of blew it open early in the second half. The only complaint came from Dwyane Wade: "I wish our locker room was a little bigger." Life's so tough on the road in the NBA! We go hard, Brooklyn, same as it ever was! Stud Doogie, are you with me! Let it fly!!!
2) Before the game, Nets journeyman forward Reggie Evans, who is a little crazy, took a few shots at KJ James, claiming, amongst other things, that "he's no different than Andray Blatche or Joe Johnson." Black? KJ had it mostly in cruise control tonight, but controlled the game pretty effectively from the perimeter - no need to get his hands too dirty in this one. Only had to play 34 minutes, and had 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. No one's quite sure what Reggie Evans was trying to say about KJ, exactly, but ESPN Heat beat writer Tom Haberstroh quickly looked up the numbers. You know how many times Joe Johnson has had at least 24, 9, and 7 in 877 career games? Once. One time. He's done it! Reggie Evans was right - KJ James and Joe Johnson are the same!!!
3) The Nets are a big, physical team - if they can slow the game down and pound the ball inside to their big center Brook Lopez, they can hang with anyone. Lopez had 21 points and 7 rebounds; a bloody chin; and some kind-of-gross back-neck hair. It's cool to grow the afro out, but have someone touch up the back of the neck for you, Big Fella. But put the Nets bigs and wings out into space, and they have trouble - they aren't a particularly athletic team. In the third quarter, Miami got up into the Nets defensively a bit, turned them over some, and got easy runouts during a 15-0 run, and then spent the rest of the half picking them apart on pick-and-rolls. Even Udonis Haslem got a dunk or two in the halfcourt! So let's review the qualities of the toughest three opponents on this road trip: Brooklyn can score, but they can't really stop you from scoring. Indiana can stop you from scoring, but they can't really score themselves. And, Boston? #Doucheball. Any questions? The end.
4) Play of the game: three way tie!!! One, in the first quarter, Chris "Birdman" Anderson stole the ball from Deron Williams at the top of the key, wildly careened downcourt dribbling the ball, kind of half-Euro-stepped Williams, who pretty much just wanted to get out of the way, and finished while getting fouled! And 1! "That seemed like a really bad idea when he started it," I pointed out, but M.Minutos admonished me: "C'mon, that's the Birdman doing the things that a Birdman does, and what a Birdman brings!" True...Two, in the third quarter, as the Heat were turning the game into a laugher, Mario "Emcee" Chalmers (11 points on 5-7, 4 assists, 3 steals, and somehow zero turnovers), drove the lane and took a bump while shooting a floater, which knocked him to the court. All three Nets in the area stopped playing because they assumed a foul was going to be called, but no one blew the whistle and the ball bounced off the front iron, right back to Emcee, who caught it while sitting on his booty in the middle of the lane. Even better, he suddenly reached back and threw a low, skidding bounce pass to Dwyane Wade, who got one-on-one with Lopez, and made an easy, short jumper over him. Frankly, it was better than 90 percent of the passes Chalmers throws while standing up. "It really seemed like he could see the good passing angles from down there," M.Minutos raved...Finally, in garbage time, which was the entire fourth quarter, Nets backup rookie Mirza Teletovic (I have no idea if I spelled that right - you get the idea, he's not from here) got an offensive rebound at the rim and tried to drop it back through (he's pretty tall, a good 6'8" or so). "Nyet so fast!" thundered Shane Battier, who went straight up and blocked the shot right back in Teletovic's face! That's pretty much the first time Battioke has done that in his career - sometimes he'll get a sneaky tip-block from behind, or a crafty strip-block, but as far as taking away a hoop right at the rim? Never! Except that 40 seconds later, the exact same thing happened between the exact same two guys, and this time Battioke blocked it so hard that he put Teletovic on his back! Get that Euro-mess out of here! Don't hurt 'em, Battioke!
5) So, sometimes we'll be watching a game and there will be a pugnaciously scrappy little opponent driving the Heat crazy. That loss to Dallas in the 2011 Finals still hurts - damn you, JJ Juan Barea (Hubeism)!!! And either myself, or M.Minutos - usually M.Minutos, to be frank - will just go, "little turd." It sounds meaner than it is, it's kind of descriptive, and kind of a term of endearment, not a real-life, qualitative assessment of the guy's real-life turdiness, or lack thereof. I mean, we all know the kind of guy we are talking about here - this just puts a name on it. M.Minutos made a chart to help us all out:
Three thoughts on this relative to tonight's game: seems unnecessary to put former Nets coach Avery Johnson on the list - he's no longer affiliated with the league in any way since the Nets' players kind of layed it down and got him whacked earlier in the year. Also, Deron Williams seems too physically big to be on the list. He's a power guard who plays at a slower overall pace. Also, in fairness, if Norris Cole were not on the Heat, he would certainly be on this list - he's not overtly combative, personality-wise, but he does love to foul and plays irrationally hard. But, he is on the Heat, so he can't be on this list - I'm sure he's on the "A Raptor's Life" blog's list of annoying little guys.
6) I'm in love with the Snake Lady - BFD, what do you care? I met her at the South Florida Fair last week. Just because she has the head of a woman, and the body of a snake, doesn't mean I don't care about her deeply. I'm head-over-vertebrae in love with her! You ever kissed a woman with a forked tongue? Mmmm-hmmm: Stud Doogie are you with me! Wiggles, I hate it when you leave, but I love to watch you slither away! I know it can never work out, though. For one, the fair leaves Palm Beach County next week to go to Slidell, Lousiana. Also, I'm married. My wife is super-cool, but she's not so cool that she's okay with me having a crush on the Snake Lady. A mermaid, maybe, but getting reptilian with the Snake Lady? No way. We'll always have our serpentine love, girl...
Okay, we play Indiana Friday. Thank God the Nets were in between Boston and Indiana, the Nets are pretty benign - Boston-Indiana back-to-back would be jackass overload. If you need me before Friday, I'll be at the Palm Beach Zoo in the Rept--ummm, never mind. See you Friday, when we'll preview Superbowl Lamb Fajitas!