Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NBA Notes: History Says Nets Will Win Series against Heat

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NBA Notes: History Says Nets Will Win Series against Heat

Article excerpt

History gives the Heat no chance in series matchup with Brooklyn

Dwyane Wade hardly thinks the regular-season series between Brooklyn and Miami was meaningless. The Nets swept the Heat, winning three of those games by a mere point, taking the other in double overtime. That's not exactly a show of dominance from a scoring- differential perspective.

That doesn't matter, Wade said.

The Nets won all four, and that has Miami's full attention as the sides get ready to open an Eastern Conference semifinals series. Miami, the league's two-time defending champion, will host Game 1 tonight.

"They figured out a way to beat us four times and that hasn't happened," said Wade, the Heat guard who missed two of the four Brooklyn-Miami games this season. "So we've got to crack that code."

History shows the Heat will struggle in that code-cracking plan. This series marks the 26th time that teams will meet in a best-of- seven series after one club went 4-0 or better against the other in the regular season. In each of the first 25 such instances, the regular-season winner also won the playoff matchup.

Advantage, Brooklyn.

"I think they know what's coming," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "We've seen them four times. I think we have the utmost respect for them and they have the utmost respect for us. Hopefully, it can be a great series."

The buildup for this started in July, when the Nets added Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and started talking about a championship.

It's the fifth time Pierce and LeBron James will be on opposite sides of a playoff series. Pierce won the first two when James was in Cleveland; James has won the last two since coming to Miami, topping Garnett and Pierce when they wore Boston colors.

To James, this isn't about breaking a tie. He's got bigger goals.

"It should be very challenging," James said.

Spurs vs. Trailblazers * The San Antonio Spurs just finished going toe-to-toe with a transformational power forward whose mid- range game stretched their defense to the max, needing seven games to oust Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.

Tiago Splitter and the Spurs made life difficult for Nowitzki in the opening round. …

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