Dwyane Wade thought he was done with battling Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the playoffs. In 2012, he and the Miami Heat went seven games with their Boston Celtics en route to a championship. Wade told reporters on Monday there was no reason to forsee facing the duo in a different uniform two years later, via the New York Daily News.
“We thought when we played them in Boston we thought we buried them,” Wade said Monday. “Then we got Ray, Doc left and we were like, yeah, here they go.”
After a first-round exit in 2013, they went to Brooklyn for one last chance at a title. This regular season was a roller coaster for the Nets, but they managed to sweep Miami in four contests. Three of them were decided by a single point. Brooklyn believes it can take down the champs, and everyone expects the rivalry from Boston to resurface.
“That's why it's the perfect storm right now,” Wade said. “They had their reign on top. We was able to overcome. We've had our reign on top now and now they're trying to overcome. They're trying to get back to the championship. This is a kind of a battle, a match that you want to meet in the Eastern Conference finals when you talk about the bad blood. But there's other bad blood out there, too. This is going to be a very challenging round. You wouldn't want it any other way. You want to feel like you've earned it, towards your way trying to get to the finals. I think both teams would want this matchup.”
This will be the narrative heading into the series, but the Nets will have to prove they can hang with the Heat in the playoffs. Miami has been resting after taking care of the Charlotte Bobcats in four games, while Brooklyn barely squeaked past the Toronto Raptors with a one-point win in Sunday's Game 7. Nets point guard Deron Williams needed two ankle injections before that game.
The series gets started on Tuesday night.