The Miami Heat have sat idly by awaiting their next opponent since sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats and on Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets advanced to become that opponent.
The Nets were in a series with the Toronto Raptors that went to a seventh game in Toronto on Sunday. With the Nets victory in that game, they advanced to the second round and have a meeting with the two-time defending NBA champions.
The Nets beat the Heat in all four games between the two teams in the regular season, but every game was close and went down to the wire. In fact, three of the games were decided by one point with the other ending in double-overtime. The games had playoff atmospheres and turned out to be a preview of what could be one of the better series in the playoffs this year. The Heat will have home-court advantage in the series with Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 in Miami if those last two become necessary.
The teams first took on each other back on November 1, 2013 with a final score of 101-100 in Brooklyn. In that game, Miami outscored Brooklyn by ten in the fourth quarter but fell just short of completing a comeback win. It was interestingly enough a win that ended a 13 game losing streak for the Nets against the Heat.
The next time that the teams saw each other was on January 10 also in Brooklyn. This contest went to double overtime with the Nets eventually winning 104-95. The final makes it appear as if it wasn't a close game but it was a great battle that featured the Heat outscoring the Nets by 12 in the fourth quarter. That furious effort sent the game to overtime but it may have also exhausted the Heat, causing them to lose by nine in the second OT.
The teams would meet again on March 12 in Miami with the Nets taking the game 96-95. This one was even from start to finish with the teams actually tied at the end of the first quarter and second quarter. After three quarters, the Nets had a two-point lead and that was cut in half by the final buzzer.
The fourth and final meeting came on April 8 also in Miami with Brooklyn winning by a final of 88-87. This was an interesting game in terms of runs as the Nets led after one quarter by a score of 26-14. In the second quarter, the Heat outscored the Nets 29-18 to make it a one point game at the half. The Heat would go on to take a three point lead going to the fourth quarter only to give those same four points back in the fourth. Mason Plumlee blocked a LeBron James dunk at the end that was in dispute as possibly more of a missed foul call, than a block.
The second round will tip off on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena in Miami. It is a best of seven series with games set to take place every other day.