Pregame Primer: Nets-Warriors

Open Thread Here!

Grade The Players Here!


Tonight: Brooklyn Nets vs. Golden State Warriors, 7:30 P.M. (Barclays Center)

Broadcast: YES Network, Ian Eagle & Greg Anthony, WFAN, Chris Carrino-Tim Capstraw

Brooklyn Nets (11-6, 7-2 home):
104.4 offensive rating (7th), 102.4 defensive rating (18th), 90.76 possessions per game (29th)
Golden State Warriors (11-7, 5-4 away)
101.9 offensive rating (13th), 101.1 defensive rating (13th), 95.68 possessions per game (7th)

Injury Notes: Brook Lopez is out for the Brooklyn Nets. Andrew Bogut is out for the Golden State Warriors. Former Net and current Warriors small forward Richard Jefferson was listed as probable for tonight with a right calf injury, and will play with a brace.

From Coach Johnson:

We gotta find, quickly, starting tonight, a better rhythm for guys we have in uniform. We’re going to change some things around, maybe give a starter a little earlier rest so we can bring him back earlier in the second… that’s a big part of guys performing well, trying to get them comfortable in the rotation. But for us, guys that I brought in yesterday, they don’t have 50 chances to get out there and get it right. When you are a low-to-medium minute player, you’ve got to be efficient when you get out there. It’s taken some of our guys too long to get out there and warm up. They’ve got to hit the ground running.

Three things to watch tonight:

1) Perimeter defense. The Warriors decimated the Nets in their last outing, primarily with outside shooting. Klay Thompson has struggled all season with his shot but the Nets gave him enough open looks to sustain a field goal percentage for days, and Stephen Curry is one of the league’s best shooters no matter what he has for breakfast. Deron Williams has his moments of defensive engagement, and Joe Johnson is no slouch — they have to bring that energy tonight to protect home court.

2) Mo or Joe? Will the good twin Joe Johnson show his face tonight, or will he keep giving evil twin Mo Johnson undue chances?

3) Reginald Jamaal Evans. After missing Tuesday night’s game with the flu — or whatever bug you can get that gives you flu-esque symptoms without contaminating any of the men you play a sweaty, physical game with at the highest level — Evans is back and ready to wreak Bench Mob defensive, rebounding, and flopping havoc. Festus Ezeli may be the only Warriors player that can at least try to contend with his physicality, and no Warriors player has a rebounding percentage anywhere close to Evans’ 25.4%. If he’s fully recovered — and plays like it — the bench wars should tip in Brooklyn’s favor.