NEW YORK (WFAN) — They say star players win championships. The Miami Heat have three of them — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — and by no coincidence two straight titles.
The Nets have their share of big names, too. Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce. Deron Williams. Joe Johnson. But they also have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA, and head coach Jason Kidd has been taking advantage of it.
“The guys on the bench trust the guys on the floor, and we all trust one another,” Kidd said Tuesday on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show. “It’s about the team. It’s not about the individual.”
Case in point: Game 5 against the Toronto Raptors, when the Nets erased a 26-point deficit with Garnett and Pierce as spectators. Brooklyn lost in the final seconds, but eventually advanced to face the Heat in Round 2.
Kidd said he’s lucky to have “special players” who have bought in to his team-first mentality. And it’s Garnett and Pierce setting the tone.
“Everybody was asking me, why didn’t I put Garnett and Paul in?” Kidd said of Game 5. “Well, the guys on the floor did the work.”
Now Garnett and Pierce, who were acquired in a mega deal with the Boston Celtics, will face some familiar foes in Miami, where Game 1 tips off Tuesday night.
“This is the second round, so everything’s heightened,” Kidd said. “There is history with KG and Paul and LeBron and the Heat. That’s just another storyline for this series. You’ve got two strong players in KG and Paul trying to find a way to dethrone the champs.”
The Nets won every game against the Heat in 2013-14 — and history is on their side. No team has ever defeated an opponent in the playoffs after going 0-4 against them in the regular season.
“We understand that we can use some of the things that we’ve done,” Kidd said. “But it’s 0-0, it’s the first team to four (wins). Tonight it starts, and we’ve got to find a way to get a win on the road.”
Kidd is expecting Miami’s crowd to rival what they encountered in Toronto.
“They’re gonna be loud,” he said. “But our job is to keep them as quiet as possible.”
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