Starting Lineup: Deron Williams, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez.
Injury report: Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee) will both sit. Paul Pierce will come off the bench for the second straight game.
When & Where: 8 P.M. EST, Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
Riding their first winning streak of the year (technically!), the Brooklyn Nets take on the Los Angeles Clippers. Of course, this game’s storyline lies in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce finally playing against their former coach, Doc Rivers, as well as Deron Williams facing off against Chris Paul. The Nets played the Clippers on November 16th and ultimately lost 110-103 without Garnett, Pierce, Williams or Lopez available.
Tonight, they’re all healthy (or healthy-ish) and will look to avenge their loss from earlier this season. Here are the three biggest questions going into tonight’s tilt against the Clippers:
1. How badly will Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan abuse the Nets in the post?
... MORE →
The 3-5 Brooklyn Nets are in Los Angeles tonight, as a scattered semblance of themselves, to take on the 6-3 Los Angeles Clippers in a late-night contest in California. I say scattered semblance because these are not the Brooklyn Nets you've gotten used to to start the season; these are your practice squad Brooklyn Nets. Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez are all sitting out with various injuries. With Andrei Kirilenko already sidelined with back spasms, the Nets will suit up ten players tonight. Good thing they're two deep at each position. They're going to need it.
The Nets will start Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche.
Where & When: 10:30 P.M. EST, Staples Center, Los Angeles
Watch: YES Network, NBA TV
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
In the Arena: Our man Daniel Savitzky is in Los Angeles covering tonight's game. Follow him. On Twitter, not in real life.
Even without the team's stars, here's three things tonight still worth watching.
- The realness of Shaun Livingston. Livingston shined in preseason playing with the team's starters, and with half the team sitting, Livingston has another shot to showcase his talent. With Williams sidelined, Livingston took advantage of the extra playing time, leading the Nets on a 20-0 run between the second and third quarters to take the lead en route to an overtime victory. One caveat: Livingston played well because he was able to bounce off the starters, finding them in open spots and taking advantage of the space provided on the floor. Without All-Star teammates flanking him all around, can he still lead an NBA-level offense?
- Dray Day. Andray Blatche will start for Brook Lopez. If this Nets game gets out of hand, Andray Blatche may use the game as an opportunity to build time on his BallisLife mixtape, which could go disastrously, hilariously, wonderfully, or all three. When Blatche has the ball and a head of Blatche, it's the greatest show in sports. We may see a half-dozen moves we've never seen before, even by Blatche standards.
- Lob City. Let's be honest here. The Nets are sitting most of their team and they're on the road after an overtime win the night before. They're probably not going to look good. That means that Chris Paul will loft passes above the rim to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. And that means dunks. Lots and lots of dunks.
The Nets officially have permission from the Pacers to speak with Shaw about the position, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Shaw is considered the team's #1 target for the position, with Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins also in the mix.
The Nets are expected to meet with him sooner rather than later.
Shaw has been an assistant coach since his retirement as a player in 2004, first with the Los Angeles Lakers until 2011 and then as an "Associate Head Coach" with the Pacers under Frank Vogel.
He is also considered the #1 target for the vacant Los Angeles Clippers position. Basically, Brian Shaw gets to choose between making millions in Los Angeles coaching Blake Griffin & Chris Paul, or making millions in Brooklyn coaching Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, & Brook Lopez. Not a bad life.
Yahoo! Sports -- Sources: Nets granted permission to speak with Pacers' Brian Shaw about head-coaching job
At the start of the fourth quarter in the Brooklyn Nets-Los Angeles Clippers game last night, Nets forward Kris Humphries got tied up with Clippers forward Lamar Odom going for a rebound, causing the referees to call for a jump ball.
Now, normally a jump ball between two overpaid backup forwards wouldn't be cause for any interest,... MORE →
When the then-New Jersey Nets traded for Deron Williams, General Manager Billy King repeatedly said that he felt Deron Williams was the league's best point guard. Though the past two seasons may have changed his mind, last night was a stark reminder: Chris Paul is the league's best point guard, and everyone else is racing for second.
Fueled by Paul, who finished with 29 points -- 17 in the fourth quarter, including 9-9 from the free throw line -- and 11 assists, the Los Angeles Clippers hung around for three quarters before blowing it up in the fourth, turning a 75-70 deficit after three quarters into a 101-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
"We put ourselves in a position to win the game, and they did a much better job closing it out then we did," Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo told reporters after the game. "It's another day. Overall we played a really good game… there were a lot of good things. we got a big lift from the (second) team in the first half, in the second half, we didn't get that same lift."
The Nets played the Clippers relatively evenly in the first few 45 minutes. Reggie Evans kept superathlete Blake Griffin in check, Deron Williams & Joe Johnson had effective moments, Brook Lopez scored inside and out, including a beautiful out-of-bounds play that tied the game at 90 with 2:32 left.
That's when all hell broke loose.
A Chris Paul long two-pointer. A long, missed three-pointer by Deron Williams. A careless, lackadaisical pass from Deron Williams that Jamal Crawford read, picked, and drove to the other end for a dunk. A fifty-second possession for Los Angeles that changed the complexion of the game, even though they didn't score. An unbelievable shot from Paul in which he switched hands in mid-air -- twice -- and still scored through contact, drawing a foul and putting the Clippers up five with just 22 seconds left. Another missed isolation three from Johnson, and that was that.
I know it only means so much, but this is an eight-game road trip, and the Nets weren't going 8-0 on it. Outside of the Nuggets, the Clippers posed the biggest threat to the Nets on this road trip, and the Nets did play a solid game given the competition. Could they have won? Absolutely. But the Clippers are a better team, and Brooklyn's suffered far worse losses this season.
Add in that Joe Johnson suffered a quad contusion in the third quarter, causing him to miss minutes in the fourth, and the loss -- though avoidable -- could have been worse. Carlesimo insinuated after the game that Johnson was only playing so that his quad wouldn't tighten up. Johnson is questionable for tomorrow.
The Clippers didn't reinvent the wheel in the game-deciding fourth quarter, they merely rolled with what they had: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, with two players spacing the floor. On nearly every crunch time possession, the Clippers sent one of either Griffin or Jordan to set a high screen for Paul, and let Paul do the rest -- whether that be look to score, look to lob, or look to dish to an open shooter. That's multiple high-octane weapons at once. They're the super-weapon Betty White made out of nine tools in Community. The Nets in the fourth quarter were Jeff Winger. Joe Johnson was wounded respect.
Put it this way: 47 wins means 35 losses. This was one of them. Better it comes against a team as good as the Clippers. This was indicative of where these two teams are right now. If the Nets are healthy tomorrow and lose a bad one to the Phoenix Suns, I'll be more worried.
Brook Lopez isn't exactly known for his hard fouls, and Blake Griffin isn't exactly known for getting dunks stopped. So this was nice.
After three full weeks without leaving the bench, even when healthy or in garbage time, Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries made his return to the rotation Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, logging first-quarter minutes over Mirza Teletovic as the first power forward off the bench. Humphries responded positively, swatting a shot off the backboard that led to center Andray Blatche leading the break and setting up guard C.J. Watson for an open 3.
Watch, of only to hear Chris Carrino compare Blatche to Magic Johnson:
Tonight: The 40-28 playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets are on game three of their eight-game Circus Trip, taking on their hardest opponent thus far on the trip: the 47-22 Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers most recently beat the Philadelphia 76ers 101-72, and are led by Chris Paul, who currently ranks third in the league in PER. (Brook Lopez ranks fourth.) The Nets are 2-0 on their trip after taking down the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks.
The BK Game Streak: Play "The BK Game Streak," where you can build a streak of wins along the betting line over the course of the season. Three prizes will be awarded at the end of the year, with first prize a $200 Amazon Gift Card. Log in with Facebook to get started, vote in the box above, and good luck!
Watch & Listen: Tonight's game is broadcast on YES Network. Chris Carrino and Mike Fratello are on the call. The game is also broadcast on ESPN. The game is radio simulcast on WFAN, and in Spanish on WADO.
More on tonight's game, including injuries and stats, after the jump... MORE →
After two days off to travel on this Circus Trip -- and the circus is having its own problems back home -- the 40-28 Brooklyn Nets are in Los Angeles, taking on the only team in Los Angeles anyone is scared of, the 47-22 Los Angeles Clippers. To give you an idea of each conference's strength, the Clippers are 6.5 games ahead of the Nets and have the same 4th seed.
This is only the second time the Nets have seen the Clippers this year, beating them in their November matchup 86-76 behind a stellar defensive effort from Reggie Evans. If you're interested in watching me ramble about how that matchup went, the good folks over at ClipperBlog had me on breaking that game down immediately after on their live Clippers postgame show, ClipperBlog Live.
Speaking of ClipperBlog, the best Los Angeles Clippers blog around, I have the pleasure of asking Clippers maven and ClipperBlog writer/senior contributor Fred Katz three questions about tonight's matchup. ClipperBlog also asked me to answer three questions about tonight's game, which you can see here. (Note: I am not bullish on Gerald Wallace.)
As you'll see, the first thing I ask has to do with the CP3-D-Will matchup, the two players competing in The BK Game Streak tonight. Get to pickin'.
Devin: Chris Paul + Deron Williams is always a fun head-to-head. How do you see Paul approaching the matchup?
Fred:... MORE →