Nets-Pistons: I Have No Idea What To Expect, & That’s Why I’m Watching

I’m a fan of Texas Hold’Em. While I occasionally play for money, I have a firm belief that when I play poker with friends just for fun, weird stuff happens. More four-of-a-kinds. More people catch stupid things on the river. Bad beats happen more often. I think it’s because when there’s nothing on the line, people play looser than they normally would: when you’re not risking anything, that 8-4 off-suit suddenly looks like a winner. And every now and then, it is!

The 48-33 Brooklyn Nets, with nothing to play for, are at home for their final game of the season, taking on the 29-52 Detroit Pistons, also with nothing to play for, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That’s why I’m watching tonight’s game: because both teams don’t have any significant skin in the game, weird stuff is going to happen. Other than the starters sitting late, everything is up for grabs: will Toko force another five-second violation? Will Andray Blatche take over as point guard for possessions at a time? Will Kris Humphries attempt a three?

Anything is possible. And that’s what makes these games fun and wondrous: at some point Tyshawn Taylor is inevitably going to look at a metaphorical 8-4 offsuit and push all in. I can’t wait to see what comes up.

More notes:

  • The Nets will not sit any of their players and start their usual five: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Reggie Evans, and Brook Lopez. Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo has said that the five will likely get between 18-24 minutes of playing time, with Wallace possibly getting a few more, and that he’d treat tonight’s game similar to a preseason game.
  • On Monday night, the Nets defeated the Washington Wizards 106-101 with four of their five starters (all but Wallace) sitting out, letting their backups & prospects play and getting big games from Andray Blatche, Kris Humphries, Tyshawn Taylor, and Tornike Shengelia. Though their minutes will likely be more limited thanks to the starters, it’d be no surprise to see the starters sit the fourth quarter, if not the entire second half.
  • Carlesimo also stressed that there aren’t any hints from tonight’s rotation about the playoff rotation: while the substitution pattern will be the same, he’s looking to get everyone minutes regardless.