The Brooklyn Nets (7-4) face the Portland Trail Blazers (6-6) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn today. Here’s the deal on this afternoon.
Remember: you can grade the players at any time.
The Who/What/Where/When: The Brooklyn Nets take on the Portland Trail Blazers today (Sunday, November 25th), at Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 3:00 P.M. The Blazers are opening a seven-game road trip today, and have won four of their last five games.
TV/Radio: Today’s game will be broadcast on YES Network. Ryan Ruocco has the call. The game will be called on the radio on WFAN. No Spanish telecast today.
The connection: The Brooklyn Nets only have the roster they do, to some degree, because of a trade-deadline deal with the Portland Trail Blazers that netted them Gerald Wallace for Shawne Williams, Mehmet Okur, and most importantly their 2012 first-round pick (top-three protected). That pick ended sixth, and became Damian Lillard, one of the league’s early frontrunners for rookie of the year. As Avery Johnson noted pregame, it’s a trade that really worked out well for both teams — the Nets got a talented, versatile veteran at small forward to fill a half-decade void and the Blazers got their point guard of the future.
Starters: The big news today is that Trail Blazers all-star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is fighting back spasms, and is listed as a game-time decision. UPDATE: Aldridge is active, but not in the starting lineup, and said pregame he does not believe he’ll play today. According to Blazers beat writer Joe Freeman, Aldridge ordered a burger for his pre-game meal — hardly a pre-game meal. The Blazers started Meyers Leonard in his place, next to Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nic Batum, and J.J. Hickson.
The Brooklyn Nets will start their standard five and oh man it feels nice to spend only this amount of time on that.
Key reserves: Rather than list the Blazers key reserves, here’s a list of stats their bench is last in among NBA benches:
- Points per game (12.5, second-worst LAL with 22.3)
- Assists per game (3.3, second-worst PHI with 4.6)
- Field goal percentage (.344, second-worst PHI with .370)
They’re also second-to-last in rebounds per game and second-to-last in point differential per game. So, uh, not that good.
As for the Brooklyn Nets, expect the usual again: Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans, C.J. Watson, Josh Childress, Jerry Stackhouse, and Keith Bogans will get minutes, presumably in that order. MarShon Brooks will have to earn them.
Key Advanced Statistics:
Brooklyn Nets: Offensive rating 108.2 (5th), Defensive rating 104.5 (17th), 88.2 possessions per game (30th)
Portland Trail Blazers: Offensive rating 106.2 (9th), Defensive rating 109.1 (28th), 92.1 possessions per game (16th)
Brooklyn Nets Offense (league rank): eFG% .494 (11th), TOV% 13.4 (8th), ORB% 29.4 (9th), FT/FGA .220 (14th)
Portland Trail Blazers Offense (league rank): eFG% .498 (10th), TOV% 14.1 (13th), ORB% 26.9 (17th), FT/FGA .202 (20th)
Brooklyn Nets Defense (league rank): eFG% .494 (22nd), TOV% 14.0 (17th), DRB% 70.5 (27th), FT/FGA .187 (5th)
Portland Trail Blazers Defense (league rank): eFG% .530 (29th), TOV% 15.2 (7th), DRB% 73.4 (12th), FT/FGA .242 (25th)
Fearza’s Continued Extinguishing: Mirza Teletovic is inactive tonight for the second straight game. He joins Tornike Shengelia on the inactive list.
Season standings: The Brooklyn Nets are 7-4 after winning Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, second in the Atlantic Division and one game behind the Manhattan/New York Knicks for first place. The Knicks are playing the Pistons at the time of this writing. At 6-6, the Portland Trail Blazers are tied for third in the Northwest Division.
In 2K13: Nets win, 115-99. Virtual Brook Lopez went to town on a weak interior presence, dropping 32 points and even grabbing nine whole rebounds on 15-19 shooting. Most of his looks came on easy dump-downs and alley-oops for dunks and layups, and most were set up by Deron Williams, who finished with as many points as assists (18). Gerald Wallace flirted with a triple-double but finished a bit short, ending the game with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists. The Nets finished with 34 assists on 51 field goals, while the Blazers ended with just 14 on 44 field goals.
NBA 2K13 Record: 9-3
2K13 as predictor: 6-5
This game was already a bit of a must-win before Aldridge’s injury was announced. If he’s out, they should dominate. Go Nets!