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LeBron after Heat lose Game 3 to Nets: ‘This is a series now’

May 11, 2014, 6:30 PM EST

LeBron James LeBron James

The Heat had largely cruised through these playoffs unscathed before Saturday night’s Game 3 loss to the Nets, winning all six contests before that and being rarely challenged to this point of the postseason.

But after falling under a barrage of three-point bombs and looking largely uninspired throughout much of the second half, LeBron James and his teammates may finally be feeling as though the postseason has arrived.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

“It has felt like the playoffs and it hasn’t,” Chris Bosh said of the past few weeks. “We didn’t have that desperation in this game, but usually, a loss will do that and you’ll come back with it.” …

“This is a series now,” James said. “I’ve been part of a lot of series. I understand it’s never won in two games.”

This is the first bit of adversity Miami has faced in the team’s bid to get back to a fourth straight Finals, and a let down at some point was to be expected, especially against a veteran-loaded team like the Nets that, perhaps more than any other, isn’t likely to be intimidated by the Heat’s championship resume.

Game 4 means everything for Brooklyn, just as Game 3 did before it. Going down 3-1 would put the Nets in an essentially impossible situation, and it will be no easy task surviving what’s sure to be a bounce-back effort from the Heat in the next one.

There’s an old playoff saying, however, that states that a series doesn’t truly begin until one team wins on the other’s home floor, either stealing or solidifying the home-court advantage. A Nets win that would tie the series at 2-2 wouldn’t upset that balance, even though reducing this round to a best-of-three would certainly intensify the feeling from James that his team has finally begun to experience a challenge.

  1. Kevin S. - May 11, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    “There’s an old playoff saying, however, that states that a series doesn’t truly begin until one team wins on the other’s home floor, either stealing or solidifying the home-court advantage.”

    That old saying is utter nonsense. 94% of teams that go up 2-0 win the series. I’m not believing until the Nets have the Heat facing an elimination game.

    • imakcds - May 11, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      Despite your statistical ‘knowledge’, why do I get the feeling that you’re a Heat Bandwagoner??

      • Kevin S. - May 11, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        Because you’re an idiot? I’m a Net fan. I’m also a realist.

      • shanydawg - May 11, 2014 at 11:32 PM

        Are you really so surprised that such a phenomenon could take place? A team pulls off the biggest free agent signings in history and then goes on a 4 year tear of the NBA winning 2 consecutive titles – yet, to you, it’s still a surprise that doing that might garner more interest in the team. Then you think you’re insulting them for it, when, as fans go, they’re the only ones in this conversation that are actually winners. You might consider S’ing-T-F-U until your team actually does something other than gobble up cap room.

      • ganksus - May 12, 2014 at 1:34 AM

        So everyone who likes the White Hot Heat. ( reigning champs for the past two seasons) featuring the best player on the planet Mr. Lebron James is a bandwagoner. I guess that automatically makes you a Heat hater. Heater for short.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - May 11, 2014 at 8:21 PM

      No way. You mean the team that has home court advantage (and thus also a better reg. season record) and goes up 2-0 is highly likely to win the series? Duh. And that doesn’t even contradict what he is saying…

      • Kevin S. - May 11, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        No, it kind of does. Basically, it’s next to impossible to win a series if a team fails to take one of the first two games. Winning four out of five against a better team is really hard, even if three of those five games are at home. The series has most certainly started when one team goes up 2-0, even if both of those wins were at home. The saying is nonsensical.

  2. imakcds - May 11, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    “This is a series now. But because i no doubt, no question should be on Mt Rushmore, I don’t give nobody no respect, what they expect?”

  3. ProBasketballPundit - May 11, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    There’s no way Brooklyn will hold the Heat to 8 baskets in the paint again in this series.

    • kb2408 - May 11, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      How come they can’t…Hakeem the Dream ain’t on Miami’s roster. Brooklynn is content to let Miami bomb away from the outside.

      • antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        The Heat have the leading paint scorer in the league (LeBron) and the Nets really shouldn’t be content to let Miami bomb away from outside because they’re also the best 3PT shooting team in the playoffs.

        But the Nets are welcome to test their luck again.

      • pharohislife - May 11, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        Anti, you’re making your own stats up again. Lebron’s the League’s Leading scorer in the Paint. Really? He’s up there no doubt. But let’s stop making stats up ok bud.

      • antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 11:41 PM

        @pharohislife – Did you even bother to check, or are you just criticizing me without knowing what you’re talking about…?

        LeBron led the league in points in the paint per game this year. He was first at 13.6 ppg, Al Jefferson was second at 13.5 ppg, Blake Griffin was third at 13.4 ppg. LeBron and Blake Griffin were the only two players to score over 1000 points in the paint in 2013-14.

  4. antistratfordian - May 11, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    Meh.

  5. Great Caesar's Ghost - May 11, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    This is good experience for Lebron and he can use it down the road after Wade and Allen hand over the reigns.

    • Great Caesar's Ghost - May 11, 2014 at 8:40 PM

      *reins

  6. cantonbound13 - May 11, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Nets have beaten the Heat in 5 of 7 so far this season.

    • ozarkannie74 - May 12, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      By 1 point and double overtime when the Heat weren’t even playing for anything – they had already made the playoffs. Let’s start with the Nets have beat the Heat 1 out of 3 games in the playoffs and have their work cut out for them in the next game, shall we??

    • terrence1922 - May 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      And where is the relevance in this since you are including the regular season?

  7. davidly - May 11, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    Yeah, that’s the second time I’ve heard that “saying” — and I don’t buy it either. By that logic, San Antonio is in a series now that they won game three.

  8. money2long - May 12, 2014 at 12:31 AM

    Heat will win. Lebron’s being PC

  9. pacers2014champs - May 12, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    Pacers in 6 vs Spurs in the Finals

  10. dizzydiz69 - May 12, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    If the Nets continue raining 3’s again, then the Heat will lose game 2. Gotta play perimeter D!

    • dizzydiz69 - May 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      Sorry game 4.

      • money2long - May 12, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        It is game two on the road technically

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