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Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.

Three Pointers: Burned by the Heat

Miami Heat forward LeBron James looks for an

Miami Heat forward LeBron James looks for an open teammate as Joe Johnson guards him during the first half of a game in Miami. (Nov. 7, 2012) (Credit: AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. -- So much for that bounce back, huh?

Wednesday night’s 103-73 pummeling at the hands of the Heat in Miami was disturbing no doubt, and the Nets need to quickly right the ship after losing two straight in numbing fashion. But it’s still too early to press the proverbial panic button since we’re only a mere three games into the season. We can’t lose sight of the fact the Nets have nine new faces and are going to take time to get it together.

However, losses like Wednesday’s just aren’t going to cut it.

“Obviously, this doesn’t feel great,” Joe Johnson said. “I thought the effort was there. We just missed a lot of shots that we normally make. We’ll just get back to the drawing board. Tonight, was an off night. We had a lot of wide open looks. I missed a few myself and against a good team like the Miami Heat, you have to make them pay. Good teams have a tendency to bounce back. We have to bring a little more toughness than we brought tonight.”

Away with the Three Pointers:

--* Speaking of Johnson, they’ve got to get him going.

So far, the All-Star shooting guard is struggling offensively and last night was no different. In 32:13, Johnson put up only 14 shots and made just four, with at least two of those floaters in the lane. He hasn’t been as aggressive as he was in the preseason when he was making plays and heading the Nets’ second unit. Seems like he’s been somewhat passive.

It’s time to change that. 

 “I’m just trying to figure things out. On the outside, I had a lot of wide open looks that I normally make, but it didn’t fall for me tonight.”

--* You know that SportsCenter highlight they’ve been playing all day, the one where LeBron James feeds Dwyane Wade for an alley-oop?

That came off a turnover, something the Nets talked a lot about leading up to tipoff. With the way the Heat like to get out and rack up points in transition, taking care of the ball was paramount. Never happened, though.

The Nets coughed it up 19 times, which Miami gratefully turned into 31 points. They’ve got to be better than that.

“We knew that coming into this game, that we had to take care of the ball and not give up easy transition baskets,” Avery Johnson said. “Our turnovers led to easy points for them. It kind of got them going a little bit. They’re very difficult [to defend] because you have to play one-on-one against your man. Then, if you have to double, it makes it pretty tough because they have shooters spread around the floor.” 

--* Let’s wrap up with some positivity, eh?

You’ve got to like what you saw out of Kris Humphries, particularly in the first half. Like Johnson, he’s off to a slow start and has usually been the first odd man out when Avery Johnson goes to his bench and starts inserting members of the second unit.

Humphries was really doing his thing in the first quarter, pulling in seven rebounds and netting nine points. He also went to the free throw line four times in the quarter, making three. Humphries finished with a double-double, posting 11 points and 11 rebounds. 

“I’ve just been trying to have an aggressive mindset and preparing myself to play,” he said. “I’ve been struggling lately so I tried to come out and have a good night.”

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