The Brooklyn Nets (5-2) take on the Sacramento Kings (2-7), tonight at 6 P.M. (3 P.M. Pacific) at Sleep Train Arena (no, really). Here's all you need to know, and probably some stuff you don't.
The Who/What/Where/When: The Brooklyn Nets take on the Sacramento Kings tonight (Sunday, November 18th), at Sleep Train Arena at 6:00 P.M., 3:00 Pacific. The Kings are in the third game of a four-game homestand, and have lost four straight. The Nets are starting their west coast trip tonight before facing the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday and Portland Trailblazers Thursday.
TV/Radio: Tonight's game will be broadcast on YES and WFAN.
Starters: CRASH BACK! The Brooklyn Nets will start their "standard" five, with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez. The Sacramento Kings "welcomed" back center DeMarcus Cousins from a two-game suspension Friday, and will start him next to Jason Thompson, John Salmons, Tyreke Evans, and Aaron Brooks. Salmons and Brooks have not been regulars in the Kings starting lineup.
Key reserves: MarShon Brooks is again active, but didn't play much in Thursday night's contest. We'll see how Avery Johnson handles him. Reggie Evans, C.J. Watson, and Godfather Andray Blatche round out Brooklyn's Bench Mob that I wish they called The Brooklyn Zoo. The Kings, though they start James Johnson, play Marcus Thornton starter's minutes. They also have point guard and regular starter Isaiah Thomas, small forward and regular starter James Johnson, rookie power forward Thomas Robinson, shooting shooter Jimmer Fredette, and diminutive center Chuck Hayes.
AND LET ME GUESS, YOU THOUGHT I FORGOT ABOUT THE MAN HIMSELF JERRY STACKHOUSE, DIDN'T YOU!? JERRY YOUKNOWWHAT STACKHOUSE A.K.A. THE INVENTOR OF THE STACKHOUSE BURGER A.K.A. JERRY TENDERIZER A.K.A. I WAS BORN WITH DISCO A.K.A. KIND OF COMING BACK DOWN TO EARTH AFTER A STATISTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT HOT START. Yeah, he's there too.
From Hero To Zero: Keith Bogans, who started in Gerald Wallace's absence, is inactive tonight along with Tornike "Toko Loco" Shengelia.
Key Advanced Statistics:
Brooklyn Nets: Offensive rating 109.1 (5th), Defensive rating 104.2 (17th), 89.1 possessions per game (30th)
Sacramento Kings: Offensive rating 97.3 (27th), Defensive rating 106.6 (23rd), 91.8 possessions per game (18th)
Brooklyn Nets Offense (league rank): eFG% .496 (11th), TOV% 13.7 (12th), ORB% 30.5 (5th), FT/FGA .234 (8th)
Sacramento Kings Offense (league rank): eFG% .444 (29th), TOV% 13.1 (6th), ORB% 26.6 (16th), FT/FGA .165 (26th)
Brooklyn Nets Defense (league rank): eFG% .486 (17th), TOV% 13.0 (22nd), DRB% 72.6 (17th), FT/FGA .183 (6th)
Sacramento Kings Defense (league rank): eFG% .485 (16th), TOV% 15.5 (7th), DRB% 69.0 (28th), FT/FGA .287 (30th)
Season standings: The Brooklyn Nets are 5-2, on a three-game winning streak, and 1.5 games behind the Manhattan/New York Knicks for first place. The Sacramento Kings are 2-7, on a four-game losing streak, and last in the Pacific Division.
Things done changed: I'm expecting an easy Brooklyn Nets victory tonight. On the road. It may not happen, but I'm expecting it, because they're markedly better than their opponents. For anyone who hadn't followed this team since New Jersey, let's just say that's a brand new feeling.
CRASH BACK: Gerald Wallace is back in the lineup. I don't know how much he'll play, or if he's using this game as a test before the Nets face better opponents, or if he's really 100%, or anything. I just know that Gerald Wallace is back in the lineup and that makes Devin Kharpertian a happy man.
In 2K13: Nets win, 111-99. Even playing this one without Gerald Wallace, the Nets won this one without much of an issue. They led throughout and outside of a too-late-to-affect-the-game barrage they would've won by around 20. Deron Williams led the team with 33 points and 9 assists, Brook Lopez chipped in 22, and Andray Blatche got a double-double (12 & 11) off the bench. Marcus Thornton led the Kings, who were outrebounded 51-36, with 23 points.
NBA 2K13 Record: 7-1
2K13 as predictor: 4-3