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Monday NBA playoff previews: Nets try to even series, Blazers try to just stay alive

May 12, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Getty Images

Two games on Monday night in the NBA — and we have our first closeout game.

Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets (Heat lead series 2-1). Can the Brooklyn Nets replicate what they did to beat Miami in Game 3? The Nets hit 15-of-25 from three and hit 11-of-18 on threes above the break — that will be tough to do again. What the Nets can do again is get great play off its bench and count on Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce to make plays. The Nets can be aggressive in transition again. For Miami, someone other than LeBron James needs to show up and play like the game matters, that was not the case on Saturday night.
—Kurt Helin

San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers

(Spurs lead series 3-0). The Trail Blazers look done. NBA teams have won all 108 best-of-seven series when leading 3-0, according to WhoWins. In fact, most of those series ended in sweeps. If Portland wins Game 4 at home to extend the series, that would be a nice accomplishment — one more win in front of a loyal home crowd — before bowing out in Game 5 in San Antonio. To get that bonus victory, the Trail Blazers must better defend Tony Parker, who’s averaging 26.0 points and 8.3 assists per game in the series.
—Dan Feldman

  1. kavika6 - May 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Fans, get your brooms ready. Spurs, prepare for a week of vacation.

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

      This series has been a true wake up call for a young team. Hopefully they use it as a spring board. This has been hard to watch as a Blazers fan. I hope Oshey acquires every bench player available this off season because that is a huge issue for them.

  2. bknowledge - May 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Nets got points inside the paint and that was key. The first two games they missed a ton of gimmes. When the Nets hit shots in the paint, Miami defense needs to respect that, and it makes the shots from outside easier because the defense isn’t as close to them.

    I think its been under-rated how important the inside scoring was to the Nets offense. Their 3 point shooters were more open in game 3.

  3. pacersfan1 - May 12, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Let’s go nets! Take this series to 7 games.

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