As if it wasn’t already tough enough to win in Cleveland, the 21-53 Brooklyn Nets will rest Brook Lopez and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Thursday night against the Eastern Conference-leading 52-22 Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers are not expected to rest anyone and will presumably have their full roster led by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. They are an Eastern-Conference best 30-7 at home and 33-7 against teams below .500.
But unlikely doesn’t mean impossible. With both teams at full strength, the Nets upset the Cavaliers last week at Barclays Center despite 30 points on 13-16 shooting from James.
This is the third game in four nights for the Nets, and Lopez faces off against his twin brother Robin tomorrow on the twins’ shared 28th birthday. The Nets also rested Hollis-Jefferson Tuesday night on the second half of a back-to-back. Both will presumably be available Friday night against the Knicks, though their status won’t be confirmed until then.