With the Lakers coming up on Sunday, the national media is going to be all over this game, because if we win, no more losing streak, but if we lose, we are breaking the record. No questions asked. If the Nets can win tonight, all of the jokes about the Nyets, being terrible, and stuff like that goes away. Even though it is the same roster and everything like that, the jokes will be gone because the Nets won't be breaking the record.
Before we continue to talk about the game, I wanted to point you guys to a great report by Chris Sheridan on the TrueHoop blog. He takes a look at the three games the Nets should have won. Those games? The Minnesota game, the Miami game, and the Milwaukee game. You have to go over there to read the whole thing, but his comments on the Bucks' game were interesting:
Rookie Terrence Williams was on fire, hitting his final seven shots of the first half as New Jersey went to the locker room with a 48-41 lead. But rather than stick with the hot hand, Frank told the rest of the team at halftime to feed off the example being set by Williams. Bad idea. Milwaukee opened the second half with a 15-2 run before Frank put Williams back in with 6:35 remaining in the third quarter, and the rookie shot 0-for-6 the rest of the way.
Looks like I am not the only having issues with Lawrence Frank's rotations at times.
Anyway, back to tonight's game. Like New Jersey, Sacramento is a young team, if you let them get going early and allow them to build a big lead and gain confidence, they can blow you out (Like they showed against New York on Wed.). However, if you keep it close, you can stay in the game and the Kings will make mistakes to allow you to win the game. The Nets have a chance to avoid infamy here, they need to come out like they did against the Blazers though, not like how they came out against the Nuggets.
Beno Udrih vs. Devin Harris:
If anything tells you about Lawrence Frank's thought process going into this game, it's his start of Devin Harris. Devin Harris has been slowly added to the rotation more and more, and now he is finally starting against a team that the Nets have a chance to beat. Beno Udrih is no slouch though. He originally lost the starting PG job to Tyreke Evans, but with Kevin Martin's injury, Evans slides to the 2-spot and Udrih is starting. He is a quick guard who is at his best when he gets into the lane.
Advantage: Devin Harris
Tyreke Evans vs. Chris Douglas-Roberts:
Though I have been hyping up a Devin Harris vs. Tyreke Evans match-up (and it should happen at least a couple times during the game), the CDR vs. Evans should be just as good, if not better. This battle of of former Memphis stars will be fun because both guys like to attack the basket, so they will be going at each other the whole game.
Andres Nocioni vs. Trenton Hassell:
Nocioni is one of those guys you hate to play against, but when he is on your team, you love him. He is one of those hard-nose types who will be physical to, and most of the times through, the whistle. He uses his physical play to try and intimidate his opponents and take them out of the game mentally. Don't let all of this fool you though, he can play. Nocioni can knock down the open three, and when he attacks the basket, he is very aggresive.
Advantage: Andres Nocioni
Jason Thompson vs. Josh Boone:
Jason Thompson is like the anti-Josh Boone. He is a tall athletic PF, who has ball skills. He can handle the ball, hit the outside shot, and attack the basket. Josh Boone can't do any of that stuff.
Advantage: Jason Thompson
Spencer Hawes vs. Brook Lopez:
What really impressed me about Brook's performance on Wednesday was that he had a "give me the damn ball" attitude. I have never seen that from him, and just by looking how he was posting up made me think he was trying to break the streak by himself. Spencer Hawes is a big-boy, just like Oden, but in my opinion, Oden is more skilled defensively, and if Brook comes out and plays just like he did against Oden, he could be setting another career high.
Advantage: Brook Lopez
Current Record 9-6
I have predicted the Nets would win 6 times so far this year. I have been wrong 6 times. This is the Nets best chance at getting a win for a little while, so how can I not pick them? Nets win.
This is your open thread, but I will be over at the Daily Dime most of the game, so join me over there.