By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Miami Heat started their four-game road trip in Boston on Sunday, then went to the White House on Monday, and will visit Brooklyn for the first time for a showdown with the Nets.
The Heat lost 100-98 in double overtime to the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon. The day was marked by Heat guard Ray Allen’s return to Boston and the news that Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a torn ACL that rules him out for the season.
On Monday, the Heat went to the White House to be honored for their World Championship by President Barack Obama.
Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said the team could be an inspiration to the nation because they showed what can be achieved “when you come together and sacrifice your egos for a greater goal” and that they have a “hard-hat work ethic.”
President Obama joked that some players were there a couple of years ago to celebrate his birthday, and that playing against him prepared the Heat for dealing with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
LeBron James presented Obama with an autographed basketball and said, “We’re in the White House right now, which is like, ‘Mama, I made it.'”
James is having another MVP-caliber year, averaging 26.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.7 steals. He is the team leader in all of those categories.
Right alongside him is Dwyane Wade, who is also performing extremely well this season. He is averaging 20.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game.
Chris Bosh is the Big 3 member that does not get as much attention, but he might loom largest in their battle in Brooklyn, going against Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans. Bosh is averaging 17.2 points and 7.5 rebounds.
This will be Ray Allen’s first trip to Brooklyn, a borough he is familiar with from playing Jesus Shuttlesworth in Spike Lee’s “He Got Game” in 1998 with Denzel Washington.
Allen is thriving in his reduced role with Miami, averaging 11.6 points in around 25 minutes per game. He will be matched up with Keith Bogans or C.J. Watson off the bench for Brooklyn. Look for Allen to play major minutes in the fourth quarter.
The keys for the Heat will be how Joel Anthony does against Brook Lopez at center, and Mario Chalmers against Deron Williams.
The Heat enter Wednesday’s game at 28-13, the best in the Eastern Conference, 3 games ahead of the Nets, who are 27-18. They have beaten the Nets twice this year in Miami, 103-73 on November 7th, and 102-89 on December 1st in a game that was closer than the final score.
After Brooklyn, the Heat travel to Indiana Friday night and head to Toronto on Sunday.