The Brooklyn Nets have been disappointing to say the least. Some are calling them last years Lakers, however the Lakers made the playoffs last year. At 3-10, Brooklyn has just looked awful in pretty much every aspect. New coaching, new players, and injuries have played a major part, however no matter how you look at it – this team has sucked big time. They come to the ACC tonight looking to gain some ground on the Atlantic Division leaders.
The Atlantic Division leading Toronto Raptors (yes I’m going to abuse it while I can) look to build off of their two game winning streak and climb back to .500. Regardless of how the Nets have been playing, they still have multiple hall of famers and have the firepower to turn it around any day now. Let’s hope it’s not tonight.
Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are both out for the Nets, which takes away from their offense big time. It’s also the return of….
With that being said, let’s get right into it.
Cage’s 5 Keys to the Game
1. Inside Out
Establish the pick-and-roll early and often, as the Nets interior defense is somewhat of a joke. Andray Blatche is a weak defender, and Kevin Garnett has certainly lost his defensive prowess. With Shaun Livingston being the Nets starting point guard, the PnR should be a go to play tonight.
2. Close Out on Shooters
This has been a struggle for the Raptors this season. The Nets have some pretty good three point shooters in Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, and yes, Alan Anderson. Containing JJ and Pierce’s outside games will limit the Nets offensively.
3. Point Guard Play
Kyle Lowry has been playing very well as of late. The Nets are weak at the PG tonight, so Lowry as well as the random back-up of the night will have to take advantage of this. Hopefully DJ Augustin will also see some time tonight.
4. Crush the Glass
Aside from Garnett, this Nets team doesn’t have any real dominant rebounders. Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson, and Tyler Hansbrough have to continue to get second chance points and should be able to dominate the glass tonight.
5. Wing Play
This should be there every night, but I don’t really know what else to add right now. DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay are the MVP’s of this team, and we’ve seen the potential when they both have it going. The key for Gay seems to be moving the ball more, and in turn this opens things up for DeMar and the rest of the offense. So Rudy, let’s try to match that career high of 8 assists tonight.
X-Factor – Kyle Lowry
We haven’t really seen much of the scoring Kyle Lowry this season.
Watch that clip, and remind yourself of Lowry’s scoring potential. With Shaun Livingston guarding him tonight, we have to hope Lowry will take advantage and put on a scoring show similar to the above Nets contest.