Nets shorthanded in Indiana and looking for fifth win
Opponent: Indiana Pacers
Time: 8:00pm EST
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Watch: Yes Network/Fox Sports Go
Listen: Wfan 660AM 101.9FM
Things are not great in Brooklyn right now as they are losers of five-straight and have allowed north of 110 points in each of those games. Curry that with Jeremy Lin’s lingering hamstring injury and a new infliction to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and you’ve got a fair amount of Nets fans in crisis mode. Despite big nights from a rejuvenated Sean Kilpatrick (24) and Trevor Booker, with his typical gritty night of 18 points and 12 rebounds, the Nets lacked offensive consistency and turned the ball over 19 times in a 111-92 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
Tonight, the Nets will look to break their losing streak against the Indiana Pacers, one of the few teams they’ve defeated already this season. In the home opener, the Nets defeated the Pacers 103-94 behind a 25-point outing by Brook Lopez and a near-triple-double from Lin. However, things will different this time around on the road, without Lin and Hollis-Jefferson, and against a marginally-improved Pacers squad.
The Paul George-led Pacers are coming off a 96-85 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and are just 3-4 in their last 7 games. Containing George — along with Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Jeff Teague — will be quite the challenge as the All-Star is averaging 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and, with Hollis-Jefferson’s absence, will leave Bojan Bogdanovic as the primary defender.
And that alone is, uh, scary to say the least.
3 Things to Watch for in Nets-Pacers:
1. The Nets’ struggle on the road
Thus far this season, the Nets record on the road is a measly 1-6. It’s a small sample size, sure, but in those losses, they’ve been outscored by an average of 12 points and have given up 110 or more in those contests.
2. Turnover issues
The Nets have turned the ball over at an alarming rate through the first month, which has proved troubling with their young, inexperienced guards. In total, the Nets are tossing 14.9 turnovers a game, leaving them at the 27th-worst mark for the entire league. Considering just November’s games, Brooklyn is averaging an even worse 17.2 turnovers — so is the offense breaking down or are they just missing Jeremy Lin?
3. How will they contain Myles Turner?
Back in October, Pacers’ center Myles Turner wrecked havoc on Brooklyn frontcourt, grabbing 13 points and 11 rebounds with relative ease through his wide arrange of skills. The sophomore is averaging 14 points and 7 rebounds thus far, and his impressive wingspan has led to a little over 2 blocks per contest. Will the onus fall on Lopez and Justin Hamilton? Or will the gritty Booker land the matchup? Although George is likely to score his own bushelful of buckets, this game will likely be decided in the paint.