The two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat now hold a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Brooklyn Nets. $100 million point guard Deron Williams was nowhere to be found in the 94-82 Game 2 defeat, and the Nets know they need to find answers before it’s too late. Per CBS Sports:
“I was aggressive, got to the paint, just didn’t hit shots,” Williams said. “… I couldn’t buy a bucket and couldn’t get to the free-throw line, either.”
The last time Williams failed to score in a game was his rookie season in Utah, when it happened twice. In the 2007 Western Conference semifinals against Golden State, Williams scored two points — a fact he knew and recited in the locker room. Utah won that game and clinched the series.
“I think he’s fine,” (Paul) Pierce said. “He’s a competitor, he knows how to bounce back, he’s done it his whole life. He’ll be fine.”
In the interview room, Erik Spoelstra was punching up his “50-50 balls” playlist and robotically recounting how the Heat “didn’t get any of them and then we got four of them in one possession.” And he was right. The Heat got outrebounded 43-36, and the second-worst offensive rebounding team in the league only had six of them in the game — but half of those on one trip down the floor.
“It hurt us,” Pierce said. “We were down by eight and we needed the possession. We needed every possession at that point. It was very deflating for us. … It’s very deflating, especially when you’re trying to come back on the road.”
It’ll be very deflating at home, too, if the Nets — and Williams — don’t fix it.
”Their experience showed,” Pierce said. “Being together showed.”