Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/2/13
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Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov arrived at his team’s home opener Friday night in Brooklyn armed with a new catch-phrase: “Aiming for Amazing.” It’s unclear whether the Russian billionaire was aware “Amazing” is already associated in these parts with a certain baseball team in Queens that hasn’t been so amazing in recent years. Nonetheless, you get the idea Prokhorov expects big things from a team that is costing him a bundle in salaries. On paper, the Nets have a roster that gives Prokhorov reason to expect to be amazed. The Nets began their home opener against the Heat at Barclays Center by trotting out a starting five that sounded like an All-Star team: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. It wasn’t a Big Three. It was a Big Five. And it was a banner night. The Nets held on for a 101-100 victory, ending a 13-game losing streak to the Heat. Allen Iverson, Geno Smith and Magic Johnson were among those at Barclays Center, along with various hip-hop artists and boxers. Before the game, Williams told the crowd, “Let’s turn it up,” and that’s exactly what the Nets did. They were certainly amazing at times, using their depth and defense to outlast LeBron James (26 points) and the two-time defending champions. Behind the starting five was a bench headed by Andray Blatche, Shaun Livingston, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko that did plenty of damage. It made for one of those total team efforts that produced a glorious opener no matter how close the finish. “It was thrilling,” Lopez said. “Everybody contributed.” If we learned anything about the Nets, it is that they are deep. Scary deep. Forget the season-opening loss at Cleveland on Wednesday night. Beating the Heat offered glimpses of how good and how deep the Nets could be.
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