Just something quick on Wednesday's game. I thought it was funny how the game ended basically the same way as the first Sixers game ended. Go for the win, misexecute (just made that word up), miss a two to tie the game. Foul the Sixers, have them miss one of two, and not even get a game winning attempt up. The Nets are a young team, but they need to learn from their mistakes the first time, not repeat them over and over. Twice now, the Nets haven't been able to even get an attempt at a basket in the final seconds. For once though, this one isn't on Lawrence Frank, he is really scraping from the bottom of the barrel, and they players are just failing to execute right now. I just wish we had Devin to attempt some of these buzzer beaters though.
Alright, now lets turn our attention to tonight's game. It's a shame that Courtney Lee doesn't get to play against his former team in Orlando, but Rafer Alston does. I know the PER says otherwise, but in my opinion Rafer has done a solid job playing point, and we aren't losing games because of him (well, maybe besides Wed. night). Tonight though, tonight could be a different story, he could go all shot-happy on us tonight, should be interesting. Oh and CDR is back in uniform tonight, though probably not starting. Late word is that Brandon Bass isn't active tonight (flu), in addition to Ryan Anderson (ankle) and Rashard Lewis (suspension). It is going to be interesting to see who plays tonight at the 4 for them.
Nets Projected Starting Lineup
- PG - Rafer Alston
- SG - Trenton Hassell
- SF - Bobby Simmons
- PF - Eduardo Najera
- C - Brook Lopez
Magic Projected Starting Lineup
- PG - Jameer Nelson
- SG - Vince Carter
- SF - Mickael Pietrus
- PF - Matt Barnes
- C - Dwight Howard
Vince Carter vs. Trenton Hassell - Vince Carter was on his way to a huge game before he got hurt in New Jersey. You know he is going to want to do that again. While Trenton Hassell was a defensive stopper for a long-time in the league, age is starting to catch up with him though. He hasn't been the best defensively so far this season, but maybe that has to do with the crazy minutes he is logging.
Our 4s vs. Matt Barnes - If Matt Barnes does in fact start tonight, we will be in the rare position of our 4s having the advantage. Both Najera and Boone are bigger than Barnes, and they both look to have the advantage on paper against them. Let's see if they can use it.
Matchup Of The Night
Brook Lopez vs. Dwight Howard - Dwight Howard got the best of Brook last time, pushing him way out of the block and not letting him get any position. Brook has been playing well as of late though. If Brook wants to be mentioned among the NBA's best big-men, he needs to play well against the best. Right now, Dwight Howard is the best.
Keys To Victory
Defend The Three - This one is easy. The Magic are the best three point team in the league, and we are one of the worst defending the three. Hopefully we can get up for the challenge and close out hard on their shooters.
Get Dwight In Foul Trouble - Dwight Howard is so important for what the Magic do both offensively and defensively. On the offensive end, you always got to know where he is, and that allows the other Magic players to get open looks. On the defensive end, Howard erases a lot of mistakes. If he isn't on the court, we got a chance.
Box Out - I mentioned it earlier, but three point shots usually come of the rim funny and lend themselves to long bounces. If the Nets don't box out, they will give this dangerous 3 point shooting team more shots at the basket.
Current Prediction Record: 4-4
Man, my gut was almost right on Wed. You would think with all of the stuff I feed it, it would treat me right. Anyway, I don't need my gut to tell me about this won. Magic win.