Before we get to the game tonight, I just wanted to talk about Brook Lopez and the All-Star game. Al Iannazzone's post from today is what got me thinking about it. There, he has an awesome quote:
Brook Lopez could care less that he didn’t make the All-Star team. He was sleeping when TNT announced the reserves last night and he also watched Willy Wonka. We asked which one?
“The good one,” Lopez said.
That means the first one. Not the Johnny Depp disappointment.
“Gene Wilder is tough to beat,” Lopez said.
If Brook isn't mad about it, us fans shouldn't really be either. I mean did he deserve it? You can argue it, I mean All-Star teams usually take two centers and I think the the fight for the "second best center in the East" is a good one. You have a lot of candidates. You have Joakim Noah, David Lee, Al Horford, and Brook Lopez. Horford is probably the best defender and he plays on the best team, so I can see why the coaches took him. The comforting thing about this is that Brook is only 21 and still developing. If all goes according to plan, he should have plenty of All-Star games under his belt.
As for tonight, the Nets continue their pursuit of finishing the season over .500 against the Wizards. A team that you can argue is worse off than the Nets. You are going to see my projected lineup looks an awful lot like the one that fans don't want to see. Here is my take on it. Kiki is going to stick with his guys (at least in terms of starting), but if they struggle he is going to have a quick hook. Just my opinion though, so we will see what happens. Anyway, onto the lineups!
Keyon Dooling vs. Randy Foye
You know what, I think it is smart to keep Harris out, especially now that Keyon got things flowing. As Mark said earlier, you got to go with the hot hand and Dooling is it. Foye in his own right is playing pretty good right now. But I think Dooling's defense will be able to shut him down.
Advantage: Keyon Dooling
Courtney Lee vs. Mike Miller
Mike Miller has returned from injury and is playing pretty well. Lee is returning as well, coming off getting his wisdom teeth removed. Lee, despite all the talk about how much he sucks, has been playing well (though not to the level people expected him to at the start of the season), and most importantly, he has been aggressive. All that being said, I think Kiki will have a short hook with him.
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Caron Butler
Do I think CDR is intentionally not shooting? I don't know, it is tough to say, I mean his change of style of play is so drastic, that it could be possible. What could also be possible is that he just misunderstands Kiki's play through the bigs mantra, that he is doing it to a fault. Maybe the win gets him going, and he will return to his aggressive self.
Yi vs. Antawan Jamison
When I was talking about a quick hook, I was talking about Yi specifically. He has a tough matchup in Jamison, so if he isn't hitting his shot, expect to see Kris Humphries in real quick...
Advantage: Antawan Jamison
Brook Lopez vs. Brenden Haywood
If you remember the last time these two played, Haywood did an effective job of shutting Brook down. He was able to use his strength to push Brook out of his post position. It is going to be fun to watch these two go at it again.
Advantage: Brook Lopez