Postscripts on the Heat’s 107-86 Game 1 win against Brooklyn on Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena:
### So much for concerns about being rusty. The Heat shot 56.8 percent from the field, moved the ball well, and dominated in the interior, outscoring the Nets 52-28 in the paint.
We executed well,” said LeBron James, who had 22 points (10 for 15 shooting). “It seems like we didn’t take much time off at all. 52 points in the paint.... 22 assists, 10 turnovers. To have eight days off playing the game, I feared the rhythm would be [affected]. It’s a good step in the direction we want to keep going. Our energy and effort were very high.”
Said Chris Bosh: "I was surprised that we did have good rhythm after such a long break. We did not have that last year [when Miami lost to Chicago in Game 1 of the second round]. I kept saying all week that we felt that we were going to attack this situation better this time. And we did."
### Smart move by Erik Spoelstra to start Shane Battier (eight points) instead of Udonis Haslem against the Nets' undersized frontcourt, which featured Paul Pierce at power forward and Joe Johnson at small forward.
“We need Shane,” James said. “Our team is very different. Every series is going to dictate what Spo does with the lineup. This series, with the group Jason Kidd starts, Shane starts and he steps up big time.”
### This was encouraging: Ray Allen, who shot just 5 for 19 and scored 13 points in the first round, regained his touch, with 19 points in 26 minutes, shooting 6 for 10 from the field and 4 for 7 on threes.
### Brooklyn held the Heat to 94.3 points per game in the regular season, eight points below Miami’s overall average. But the Heat easily surpassed that Wednesday. “It’s hard to beat a team shooting that great,” Johnson said.
Also noteworthy: The Nets outrebounded the Heat, 201-158, in the four games in the regular season, but were outrebounded 37-32 in Game 1.
### James and Paul Pierce exchanged a laugh before the game, with James telling Pierce "it's only right" that they meet again in postseason.
“He’s like a family member at this point,” James said. “It’s like a cousin you don’t see until a family reunion. I’ve had nine straight postseasons and seen Paul in five of them. He’s one of the best guys I love to compete against. It’s great to see him again.”
### LeBron, on losing the MVP race to Kevin Durant: "We had too many up and down stretches throughout the season, and if my team's not winning, then I shouldn't be MVP."
### James became the eighth player in NBA history to score 4000 points in the postseason. He has 4013. Jerry West is seventh with 4457.
### James admitted that one reason for the Heat’s uneven play before postseason was this: “During the season, it was really frustrating with guys in and out of the lineup. It was tough to get that [chemistry]." And now? "We have 15 guys ready to play now. We’re playing our best basketball.”
### Dwyane Wade, who scored 14 on 7 for 13 shooting, assessed Game 1 thusly: “That is the way we would love to play every night. To have multiple guys really being involved, the ball was moving, and the biggest thing is our energy, our effort and our focus to detail on the defensive end. I thought it was phenomenal.”
### The Nets’ unraveling began, innocently enough, with Andray Blatche inexplicably missing a point-blank shot under the basket nearly five minutes into the third quarter.
A hoop by Blatche in that spot could have sliced Miami’s lead to 56-54. Instead, it jump-started the Heat on a 14-2 spurt, a stretch from which the Nets fully recovered.
Brooklyn never closed to within single digits the rest of the night, undone by shoddy defense, lack of ball movement (11 assists to 11 turnovers) and a lopsided deficit in paint points.
“Our defense was bad,” said point guard Deron Williams, who scored 17. “We can’t allow them to get layup after layup.”
And offensively, “we have to be more aggressive,” Kevin Garnett said. “Shaun Livingston was the only starter that went to the free throw line [1 for 2]. We can’t have that.”
### In sum, this in no way resembled the four regular season games between the teams, all won by the Nets.
“That’s why they’re the champs,” Paul Pierce said. “We’ve got to have double the effort. [But] it was a three-point game at the half. We’re not overreacting. We feel like we can still get a game in this building.”
### The Heat has won 13 of its past 14 playoff series when it led 1-0.
### With his team down 79-66, Nets coach Jason Kidd opened the fourth quarter with four backups and Shaun Livingston. That lineup floundered offensively, and the Heat extended the lead to 86-70 by the time Garnett returned with 7:06 left.
With the Heat firmly in control, Kidd decided not to bother re-inserting Pierce, Joe Johnson or Williams. “I wanted to give the stars a break,” Kidd said.
### It was disappointing opener for the Nets’ future Hall of Famers.
Garnett, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday’s Game 7 win against Toronto, went scoreless in 15 minutes, the first time he failed to score in 139 postseason games.
He took only two shots, missing both, and had four rebounds while being thoroughly outplayed by Chris Bosh (15 points, 11 boards).
“They have some holes in their defense we can probably compromise,” Garnett said. “They have been waiting on us. They have been resting. They have been hearing that we beat them [all four games]. That was gasoline on the fire.”
Pierce, who averaged more points against the Heat this season than any other team (21.3), scored just 8 points on 3 for 8 shooting in 28 minutes.
James opened defensively against Pierce, with Battier guarding Johnson, who scored 17.
“We’ve got to do a better job with our defense,” Pierce said. “You can’t give a team like Miami this many layups. We’ve got to put up more resistance.”
### Pierce, by the way, has now played more games against the Heat (70) than any opposing player, breaking a tie with Allan Houston.
### The Nets succeeded in curtailing the Heat’s fast break points (just four) but couldn’t generate nearly enough easy baskets of their own. Brooklyn managed just seven fast break points, missed 7 of 17 free throws.
“We didn’t move the ball well enough to attack,” Pierce said. “We made the first pass, but not the second or third.”
### Chris Andersen left in the fourth with a knee contusion. “He’s on a full body of ice right now,” Spoelstra said. “We’ll see how he responds in the next couple of days.”
Please check back later tonight for a lot of Dolphins, plus Canes and Marlins in the Wednesday buzz column... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz