Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat (-8, 192)
The Brooklyn Nets were no match for the Miami Heat in Game 1 and will try to even the Eastern Conference semifinal series when the teams again meet in South Beach on Thursday. The Nets were bullish on their chances against Miami after sweeping the four regular-season meetings but were easily handled by the Heat in the opener. The two-time defending champions dominated the second half and shot 56.8 percent from the field for the contest while posting a 107-86 victory.
Miami was well-rested after having not played since April 28 and chipped the rust off in the first half before kicking its play into a higher gear. “Having eight days off before a game, I feared the rhythm,” forward LeBron James said afterward. “I guess I don’t have to fear that anymore.” James scored 22 points and veteran guard Ray Allen made four 3-pointers en route to 19 points. The Nets also were pushed around in the interior as Miami recorded a 52-28 edge in points in the paint.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
LINE HISTORY: The Heat opened as 8-point faves in Game 2. The total opened at 192.
INJURY REPORT: Miami: Chris Andersen - probable (knee).
WHAT BOOKS SAY: "After sweeping the season series against the Heat the Nets found out in Game 1 that the playoffs are a different story. The Heat came out after half and put the Nets away with a big 3rd quarter run. Will Game 2 be more of the same? Or will the Nets bounce back? Right now the action on the 7.5 point spread is seeing good 2 way action." - Michael Stewart from Carbonsports.ag
WHAT SHARPS SAY: "The Nets were simply outclassed in Game 1 of this series - particularly in the second half. Don't count on the Heat shooting close to 60 percent from the field on Thursday night, but it remains to be seen whether the Nets can hang defensively for 48 minutes. We're actually looking at a higher line in favor of the Heat than we saw in Game 1, which I believe is a bit of an overreaction. The total may be worth a look here. I'm leaning 'under' after a late scoring flurry helped Game 1 creep over the number." - Covers Expert Sean Murphy
ABOUT THE NETS: Brooklyn’s bravado evaporated pretty quickly as Miami operated at will on the offensive end in the opener. “Our defensive game plan wasn’t executed at all,” point guard Deron Williams told reporters. “We made a lot of defensive mistakes. We allowed them to roam free. I know I got beat on a lot of backdoor cuts.” Williams and Joe Johnson were solid on the perimeter with 17 points apiece but the frontcourt was highly inefficient. The veteran club figures to come out with an edge in Game 2 with the possibility of a 0-2 hole looming.
ABOUT THE HEAT: Allen was at least partially motivated by the sight of former Boston teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett even if he declines to admit so publicly. The two players criticized Allen for leaving the Celtics for the Heat two years ago but Allen isn’t fond of looking back on those times. “For me, those other five guys on the other team are blank to me,” Allen told reporters. “Regardless of who they are, you just have a team you want to beat and you have to do what you can to beat them.” The big Game 1 outing comes on the heels of Allen averaging only 3.3 points on 26.3 percent shooting in the four-game first-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Miami.
* Nets are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-one percent of the wagers are on the Heat at -8.