Win over Heat cements Nets’ status as a legitimate contender

On Friday, the Nets halted a 13-game losing streak to the Heat, garnered their first win of the new season, and established themselves as a top team in the Eastern Conference. Not bad for a home opener

With the Brooklyn Nets facing the Orlando Magic in central Florida later today, I just wanted to wrap up Friday's home opener in Brooklyn since I wasn't able to write a recap two days ago.

By beating the Heat, the Nets did more than just even their 2013-14 record, they also exhibited to the rest of the NBA–on national television–that they officially mean business and aren't just a top squad on paper only. Brooklyn started off the game hot, building an early lead which was held tenuously throughout the evening. The Nets were able to maintain that lead in the game's waning seconds, even after a few massive threes from Miami closed the deficit significantly.

Clearly, the Nets can stick with–and obviously, beat–the Heat. As the Heat are still the class of the NBA, Brooklyn can hang with all 28 other teams in the league so the preseason hype and expectations that placed the Nets on a championship-level are definitely on target to a point.

The win also proves to general manager Billy King that the myriad of moves he made over the summer–mainly the blockbuster deal with the Celtics–were the right moves to make. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, and Alan Anderson–all of whom were obtained by the Nets during the offseason–each left their indelible mark on the game in their own way, whether it was hitting a big three-pointer, playing lockdown defense in a crucial possession or even grabbing an important rebound.

Obviously, it's too early in the season to know definitively how far the Nets will go in the playoffs, or even if they will make it there or not (we're assuming they do). However, Friday's win was a big indication that Brooklyn will make a splash in April and May (maybe June as well) if everything goes as planned. I certainly hope they do.

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, since birth. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18