Nets @ Bobcats: Three Things To Watch

Deron Williams, Ben Gordon


The 34-26, somewhat sliding Brooklyn Nets travel to Charlotte tonight to take on the 13-47 Charlotte Bobcats, proprietors of the worst record in the NBA. These teams were connected near the trade deadline, after a report that the Bobcats were interested in Nets forward Kris Humphries in exchange for guard Ben Gordon, but a deal never went down, and both players remained with their respective teams. Here’s three things to watch in tonight’s game.

1) D-Will’s newly found lack of mound. Since the All-Star break, much has been made of Deron Williams’ new detoxifying diet, helping him shed a few extra pounds that he swore to Jerry Colangelo he didn’t have. There’s a perfect storm at hand here; Williams has healthy ankles, is fresh off a month shooting 49% from three-point range, playing a team he scored 57 points against last year, and his matchup tonight is Kemba Walker, who could potentially look Deron Williams eye-to-eye if he was standing on an actual bobcat.

2) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I usually like to pay semi-close attention to at least one player on the other team, and for this hapless Bobcats roster there’s really no other player to look at than the rookie Kidd-Gilchrist. He’s the youngest player in the NBA, but doesn’t exactly play like it: MKG is an everywhere player who can do a little bit of everything well. Plus, holy crap did he do this:

Watch out, Brook.

3) Brook. Speaking of which, Brook Lopez has shown a propensity to feast on lesser defenses this year: he put down 35 points on a Cavaliers team without their best interior defender in Anderson Varejao, 27 on Toronto on opening night against a limited Raptors frontline, and 30 on the Dwight Howard-less Los Angeles Lakers. In the only meeting between these two teams this season, Lopez dropped a 26-11 with 3 blocks in 27 minutes in P.J. Carlesimo’s coaching debut by staying close to the basket and abusing the Bobcats’ poor interior defense. A repeat of that type of game would go a long way to ending this game early.