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Here's some Nets news and notes from around the 'net:
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Each day that there's a playoff game, we'll have three things to watch in the NBA playoffs. Each note will be accompanied by a contest. We'll announce winners after each round. Here's today's three things to watch:
1) Indiana doing it again. The Pacers now have a 2-1 lead over the Knicks in the second round of the playoffs, and it's no accident. While New York runs its offense through Carmelo Anthony at a historic rate (more on that in a bit), the Pacers utilize a balanced attack. Three different players (David West, Paul George, Roy Hibbert) have led the Pacers in scoring in their three games against New York, and they've gotten important contributions from George Hill and D.J. Augustin (in Game 1). It's not just their offense: the Pacers have done an excellent job funneling three-point attempts away from New York like no team has been able to this year. At home, their success should continue tonight.
2) An unlikely hero. With San Antonio joining the world in expecting Stephen Curry to shoot the Warriors through the playoffs, the Warriors got two unlikely heroes in their two series wins: guard Klay Thompson (who put up an enormous 34-14 in Game 2) and Harrison Barnes (who somehow took 26 field goal attempts in their Game 4 overtime victory). I'm guessing Thompson will do it again: you can only stay at home on Curry for so long without giving Thompson some open looks.
3) Melo the shooter. As Kevin Pelton of ESPN noted today, Carmelo Anthony is currently using 38.7% of his team's possessions in the playoffs, the highest of any multi-series playoff performance ever. He's taken 230 field goal attempts in the playoffs, just ten fewer than his next two teammates combined. If that trend continues and Anthony continues to shoot poorly -- just 39.1% in the playoffs an 29.5% from deep -- it could spell trouble for New York.
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:
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Morning morning! Got my chai tea latte and the pound cake ready for shootaround. Big game at the Barclays center tonight
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) December 7, 2012
After back-to-back losses to the reigning champion Miami Heat and reigning Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder, the Golden State Warriors come to town to take on the Brooklyn Nets tonight at Barclays Center. The Warriors are 11-7 and have won four of their last five games, but they're also in their second game of a seven-game East Coast road trip.
I haven't seen too much Warriors basketball, except I did have the pleasure of watching this live, which was, uh, well, just watch:
Wouldn't it be nice if Brook Lopez did that on Nikola Pekovic just once while the Nets were blowing a 22-point lead at home against Minnesota?
Outside of that game, I haven't watched enough Golden State basketball, so I asked someone who does to help us learn a little more about the team. Joining me to talk Warriors is J.M. Poulard, blogger at ESPN TrueHoop Warriors Affiliate WarriorsWorld. J.M. knows his Warriors -- follow him tonight for the alternate perspective on tonight's contest.
Usual format: I ask J.M. three questions on the Golden State Warriors, he asks me three on the Brooklyn Nets. Onward!
J.M. Poulard on the Golden State Warriors
Devin: Are the Warriors better or worse off after the Monta Ellis trade?
J.M.:... MORE →
So the Brooklyn Nets lost last night in a semi-heartbreaker, falling 93-90 (I refuse to believe those last two free throws, with 0.2 seconds left and no chance of anything important happening, really counted) to the Los Angeles Lakers. But they (nor we) can dwell on that: the Nets schedule doesn't stop because the whistles do. Tonight, the 6-3 Brooklyn Nets take on the 6-5 Golden State Warriors in the Bay Area, finishing off their road trip with another 10:30 EST game.
The Warriors are always good for an interesting matchup, even without starting center Andrew Bogut (out indefinitely with an ankle injury) and backup wing Brandon Rush (out for the season after knee surgery). To give us a little insight into how interesting they are, I'm joined by Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN TrueHoop Warriors blog Warriors World. Ethan is also an NBA Lead Writer for Bleacher Report, and contributor to HoopSpeak and ESPN.com.
In today's edition, I ask Ethan three questions about the Golden State Warriors, and he asks me three questions about the Brooklyn Nets. Onward!
Ethan on the Golden State Warriors
Devin: How have your preseason expectations changed, if at all, for this Warriors team?... MORE →