The last time the Nets played the Nuggets, they were without Devin Harris and they still hung tough with them for about a half. Let's see if the return of Harris and Lee (who is coming off the bench along with Devin), can give the Nets enough firepower to get some things done on the offensive end. Brook Lopez is in the lineup today after spraining his ankle yesterday.
Another thing to look for is to see if the Nets defense comes back around. For like 6 or 7 games the Nets played really well, but everything broke down against the Nets. Let's see if it was just the Knicks style or if there is something more to it. Here are the lineups:
Chauncey Billups vs. Rafer Alston:
Chauncey is such a physical point guard he is going to have his way with Skip. You beat Chauncey by out-quicking him, and Rafer doesn't have that type of speed anymore. If Devin was starting, I would call this a push, but he is coming off the bench.
Advantage: Chauncey Billups
J.R. Smith vs. Chris Douglas-Roberts
You can call him Earl, I am still going to call him J.R. Smith is a great shooter, so CDR is going to have to stick with him. I have really loved CDR's defense of late, and he seems to be the Nets most consistent player when he is out there.
Advantage: Chris Douglas-Roberts
Carmelo Anthony vs. Trenton Hassell
I talked about Carmelo at length earlier. He is probably the best SF in the post, but what makes him so tough is that he is just as good 30 feet from the basket. He can do everything. Pass, shoot, drive, and when he wants to he plays defense. After LeBron, I think Carmelo is the league's most complete player. Hassell is going to play him tough no question, but Carmelo is going to be too much for him.
Advantage: Carmelo Anthony
Kenyon Martin vs. Josh Boone
Kenyon Martin is making news because he has been saying that Bruce Ratner is the reason that the Nets are as bad as they are. Kenyon, it has been a few years, let it go. Also, reporters need to stop bringing this up too. I know that he was a popular guy here, but you don't have to talk to him about the trade every single time the Nuggets play the Nets. It is starting to get old. Oh and Kenyon is going to work Josh Boone tonight.
Advantage: Kenyon Martin
Nene vs. Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez took one 14 foot jumper against New York. That makes me feel so much better. It is interesting to see how the return of Devin Harris gets Brook back into the paint. Let's see if it continues against Nene, who is a very physical presence down low. I think it can.
Advantage: Brook Lopez
Keys To The Game
This Nuggets team is very streaky, they go on big runs a lot. If you can keep them from going on multiple double digit runs, you can keep this team close.
Take Advantage Of The Nuggets' Lulls:
The problem with a streaky team is that they aren't always hot. They tend to run cold as well (The Clippers went on a 19-0 run on them). The Nets need to take advantage of this and cut into the Nuggets lead or extend their own when this happens.
Current Record = 7-6
Nuggets Win. Nets will keep it close for 3 quarters though. Oh and I am going to be over at the Daily Dime tonight, so check it out.