Getting this one up pretty early because of some family obligations...
Last night sucked. The Nets were in that game for approximately 5 minutes, and after taking a 9-2 lead, it looked like the Nuggets decided to start trying and just pulled away. I am not going to talk about that game much, just because I want to forget about it. The Nets did not show any effort, but you know what? With so many guys playing 40 minutes early in the season, it was bound to happen once, so don't look at yesterday and say Lawrence Frank has "lost" his team. Look to see what happens tonight, that is going to be the key.
As for tonight the Blazers are another very deep team, and they have one of the best perimeter players in the league. Also, don't look now, Greg Oden seems to have "arrived." Here are the matchups:
Steve Blake vs. Rafer Alston:
When the Blazers signed Andre Miller, many thought he was going to be the starter, but Blake simply took the job from him. Blake has been playing very well. He isn't a guy who is going to out-quick you, but he is a smart player who can shoot the 3, and knows where to get his teammates the ball. Devin Harris isn't starting tonight, but it looks like this will be his last game coming off the bench. It is about time, I think I am the last one on the Rafer Alston is doing ok bandwagon, and I am about ready to jump off.
Advantage: Steve Blake
Brandon Roy vs. Chris Douglas-Roberts:
CDR had an off game last night, but like the rest of the Nets you can give him a mulligan here. CDR was on the bench because of foul trouble and just really never got it going. He is a young guy though and with his attitude, you know he is itching to get out there and prove everyone wrong again. I think he will. Brandon Roy is very good as well, he is probably the Blazers' best offensive option and he will have a very good game tonight.
Advantage: Brandon Roy
Martell Webster vs. Trenton Hassell:
Martell Webster is a quick guy with a smooth stroke, if he can get going, you have to watch out. That being said, with the rest of the lineup the Blazers are putting out there, you want to force Webster to score. You want to funnel the ball out of Roy or Aldridge's hands. If Webster beats the Nets, so be it, I'd rather see that then see Roy and Aldridge put up 20 each.
Advantage: Martell Webster
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Josh Boone:
LaMarcus Aldridge is a match-up for every single 4 the Nets have on their roster. He is an athletic guy who can do some stuff from the outside, but his length really presents a problem in the post. Josh Boone is going to struggle against him mightily. It would be interesting to watch Sean Williams play against him, but Lawrence Frank just seems to refuse to play him at the 4, so it isn't going to happen.
Advantage: LaMarcus Aldridge
Greg Oden vs. Brook Lopez:
As I alluded to earlier, Greg Oden is having himself a pretty nice year. If you watch Sportscenter or the highlight shows, you just see him getting dunked on, but very quietly Oden is leading the league in FG% and he is third in the league in BPG (behind Brook). This is going to be a real fun matchup, but I do think Brook is going to want to prove himself and post a big game as Devin continues to get more minutes (Brook just looks like a different player when he and Devin are on the court at the same time).
Advantage: Brook Lopez
Current Record 8-6
The Blazers are going to take this one, it is up to the Nets to decide how long this game will be watchable.