It’s never pretty when you crash. After two gut-wrenching defeats earlier this week, the Brooklyn Nets were due for a let down of sorts. And boy did they ever let down. They played the Detroit Pistons in Brooklyn on Wednesday and got mollywhopped by 34 points. And what do you know, the team is now on a three-game losing streak. That’s how it goes sometimes.
The opponent tonight will be the Atlanta Hawks. It’s been a rough year for the Hawks as they find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and well out of playoff contention. They had a rough five game road trip, but managed to end it on a nice note with a win against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
Tonight also marks the official midway point of the season, 41 games. The Nets are 15-16.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.
DeMarre Carroll (knee sprain) is questionable, but remember, his best years were in Atlanta. Isaiah Whitehead is playing with Long Island at the G-League Showcase. Milton Doyle is with Brooklyn.
DeAndre Bembry is out. Marco Belinelli is questionable (ankle sprain). Dewayne Dedmon (left tibia stress reaction), Mike Muscala (left ankle sprain) and Taurean Prince (right ring finger dislocation) are probable.
The Nets won the first and third games while the Hawks took the second one.
The Hawks aren’t going anywhere, so they might as well look to ship out some veterans. They’re looking to pick up second round picks in exchange for either Marco Belinelli or Ersan Ilyasova.
I saw an incredibly interesting tweet from Jason Patt of Fanrag Sports and Blog-a-Bull:
SMALL sample size, but Jahlil Okafor has a -31.2 net rating in 73 minutes and the Nets’ pace slows down to 95.94 possessions per 48 minutes. Their pace is over 102 for the year.
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) January 11, 2018
It’s still super early, but Okafor is going to need to pick things up a bit when he gets on the court. We’ll get a better gauge of what he can do when D’Angelo Russell gets back.
If you’re looking for a bright spot from Wednesday, Allen Crabbe is the only person that qualifies. He scored a team high 20 points, the first time he’s even had back-to-back 20-point games, and made five 3-pointers. He’s made nine out of his last 15 3-point attempts, so it appears he’s like the rest of NYC and coming out of a deep freeze. It’s come at the right time for Brooklyn too because their offense needs him knocking down threes.
Year One of Schroder being the leading man could be a bit better, but it hasn’t been bad. Although he’s only shooting 28.8 percent from three point range, he’s dramatically cut down on his turnovers and is averaging over six assists a night. Schroder is only 24 so there’s still plenty of room for him to grow. His development would be helped immensely if Atlanta surrounded him with some good three point shooters.
And again, he’ll likely give a hug to Nets assistant coach Chris Fleming, who was his national team coach in FIBA competition.
Spencer Dinwiddie will be busy over the next two days. After this one, he and the Nets will head up to DC to face John Wall and the underachieving Wizards. In the mean time, Dinwiddie should look to force the action by driving to the basket. He may not get those calls late in close games, but keep on trying and it’ll happen. At least I think it will.
From the Vault
We’ve got a pretty somber double play today. It’s MLK weekend so we’re heading back to a speech he gave in Atlanta in 1967.
And lastly, today is the eighth of the earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010, killing 220,000. While a lot of horrible people like to diss Haiti and its people, Haitians are some of the strongest, most resilient people you’ll ever meet.
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