The Brooklyn Nets (6-3) face the Golden State Warriors (5-5) at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California tonight. Here's all you need to know about tonight's matchup.
Remember: you can grade the players at any time.
The Who/What/Where/When: The Brooklyn Nets take on the Golden State Warriors tonight (Wednesday, November 21st), at Oracle Arena in Oakland at 10:30 P.M., 7:30 Pacific. The Warriors just ended a three-game road trip, have won three of their last four, and return home for tonight before hitting the road again to face the Denver Nuggets.
TV/Radio: Tonight's game will be broadcast on YES Network, as well as WFAN and in Spanish on WADO.
Starters: CRASH NOT BACK. =( The Brooklyn Nets, not comfortable playing Gerald Wallace on back-to-back nights, are resting him tonight. They'll start Keith Bogans in his place, next to Deron Williams, The Blob That Has Occupied Joe Johnson's Earthly Body, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez. The Golden State Warriors, without starting center Andrew Bogut, have started Festus Ezeli in their past seven games as his replacement next to David Lee, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry.
Key reserves: The Nets have given significant minutes to three players -- Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche, and C.J. Watson. Everyone else's spot seems to fluctuate on a nightly basis. MarShon Brooks will presumably get some minutes, but has played five, 12, and four minutes in his last three games, respectively. Hard to gauge where he'll be tonight, though with the incomparable Jerry Stackhouse sitting, he'll probably see a minutes spike. The Warriors employ former New Jersey Nets small forward Richard Jefferson, as well as diminutive center Carl Landry, point guard Jarret Jack, and tall human being Andris Biedrins.
Key Advanced Statistics:
Brooklyn Nets: Offensive rating 108.6 (5th), Defensive rating 104.2 (17th), 89.0 possessions per game (30th)
Golden State Warriors: Offensive rating 101.5 (23rd), Defensive rating 103.4 (16th), 94.3 possessions per game (3rd)
Brooklyn Nets Offense (league rank): eFG% .493 (12th), TOV% 13.3 (7th), ORB% 29.3 (9th), FT/FGA .234 (8th)
Golden State Warriors Offense (league rank): eFG% .477 (14th), TOV% 15.2 (27th), ORB% 28.1 (13th), FT/FGA .219 (14th)
Brooklyn Nets Defense (league rank): eFG% .491 (21st), TOV% 13.1 (21st), DRB% 72.4 (19th), FT/FGA .184 (6th)
Golden State Warriors Defense (league rank): eFG% .475 (11th), TOV% 13.3 (20th), DRB% 75.6 (3rd), FT/FGA .245 (26th)
Change of pace: The Nets play a slow, slow offense, averaging just 89 possessions per game, the slowest in the league. The Warriors, both this season and historically, play at a breakneck speed -- they're averaging five more possessions per game this season. Keep an eye on the game speed as the night progresses -- there's a good chance that whichever team's playing more towards their pace will have the advantage.
Rearview: Last night's loss against the Los Angeles Lakers was close, exciting, and ultimately heartbreaking. They played far better basketball in Tuesday night's five-point loss than Sunday's nine-point victory. But there's no time to dwell. The Warriors aren't the Lakers and present a different set of challenges.
Crash Barnesdicoot: The then-New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets famously traded Shawne Williams, Mehmet Okur, and their first-round pick (top-three protected) for the rights to Gerald Wallace. Had the Nets kept their pick -- which ended sixth -- there's a good chance they would have taken small forward Harrison Barnes, who's started all 11 games for the Warriors. Worth keeping an eye on him.
Season standings: The Brooklyn Nets are 6-3 after dropping Tuesday night's contest, 2 games behind the Manhattan/New York Knicks for first place. The Golden State Warriors are 6-5 and rank second in the Pacific Division, tied with the same Lakers the Nets lost to last night.
In 2K13: Nets win, 118-102. I've begun seeing a pattern with these games: Deron Williams hits a lot of threes. I haven't been keeping track, but it seems like four to six per game. Tonight was no exception: Williams hit six threes en route to 33 points and 11 assists, leading the Nets in both categories, and also finished with four steals. Joe Johnson was second on the team with 21 points on 8-10 shooting, and Kris Humphries added 18 points and 14 rebounds. The Nets out-assisted the Warriors 26-12. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 28 points.
NBA 2K13 Record: 8-2
2K13 as predictor: 6-3