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As expected the Heat have to be favorites for the NBA title next year, but the Pierce and KG to Brooklyn trade does make things interesting. A starting five of Brook Lopez, KG, Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams is one of the best starting five in the league and could give the Heat a run for their money. They presumably would pose serious match-up problems with this big lineup while the Heat have flourished with a small ball lineup. But what about the Nets bench, can they fill out a full roster with limited cap space?

The Nets currently have Tornike Shengelia, Tyshawn Taylor, Mirza Teletovic and Reggie Evans under contract for the 2013-2014 season. Evans played in 80 games last year, averaging 4.5 PPG and 11.1 RPG. The rest however didn’t average more than 10 minutes per game … AKA not good. The Nets also acquired Jason Terry in the trade, who had a very up and down season to put it “lightly,” and Mason Plumlee from this year’s NBA draft. The trade won’t officially go through till Wednesday, so they still have time to fill out their roster.

C'mon his beard looks foul.
Next seasons Heat team will look pretty much the same as last year, with the Big 2.5 returning as well as Chalmers, Haslem, Battier, Miller, Jones and Lewis. Ray Allen also opted in, excising his player option for the upcoming season. The Heat were most effective in the playoffs with a starting five of Queen James, The Bostrich, She-Wade and Udonis “I have worse facial hair than Paul Pierce” Haslem. They also sprinkled in a little White Chocolate into the starting lineup for a spark, which helped a little. But when your team is built around the best player in the world, feeding into his strengths you will always be the favorites.

The Nets big lineup will the toughest opponent for the Heat, in my opinion. Brooklyn will be able to exploit their weakness in lack of legit big men to protect the rim and their weakness at point guard. KG and Pierce will be role players, adding championship experience and being used more effectively as they can’t be relied on to carry a team anymore. The Nets get the slight edge in better overall starting five, but the Heat (as of now) have a much better bench. Bench play can be the difference between getting knocked out in game 6 of the finals by 3 points and powering your team to an NBA championship. If these two powerhouses face each other in the Eastern Conference Finals I think I’m going to lean toward the Nets in a 7 game series. But what do you guys think? Comment and we can discuss.


Follow me on Twitter: @MattyMackay

Matt Mackay 7/08/2013 08:56:00 PM Edit
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