Time: 6 p.m. EST
Location: Barclays Center
Watch: YES Network, FOX Sports GO
Listen: WFAN 101.9, 660 AM
Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are bringing their talents to Brooklyn for a Sunday showdown against Spencer Dinwiddie and the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets will try to win back-to-back games for the second time this season as they host the defending 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Brooklyn improved its record to 6-9 with a strong 118-107 victory over the Utah Jazz Friday night, a bit of retribution for Kenny Atkinson’s team after losing to the Jazz six days prior.
Dinwiddie led the way for Brooklyn Friday night with a career-high 25 points and eight assists. Allen Crabbe scored 18 points, while DeMarre Carroll added 17 points.
The 12-4 Warriors have had a bit of an off-start to their standards. Considering where the Warriors stand now with four losses and in second place in the Western Conference, it may be the right time for Brooklyn to face Durant and Curry, perhaps similar to when Brooklyn defeated Cleveland and “king” of New York City LeBron James.
However, Golden State is a totally different beast than Cleveland, boasting two of the last three MVPs. Curry is currently averaging 24 points and six assists per game, his counterpart Durant is averaging 25-7-5 and the consistent Thompson is shooting 46 percent from three on the season. Golden State may be ripe for the taking as the Nets catch them on the second half of a back-to-back, but a lot has to go right for Brooklyn to pull it off.
Three things to watch for
Friday’s victory was bittersweet as we learned the Nets will be without Russell for what appears to be an extended amount of time. Russell had successful orthoscopic surgery on his left knee and Sean Marks is planning on him to return this season, but there is no timetable for his return.
However, Dinwiddie has stepped up to that role and has blossomed as the starting guard. Curry may pose a threat to Dinwiddie’s tear, but he has stepped up to the challenge so far.
Brooklyn has scored 100 or more points in 13 of 15 games this season and is fifth in the NBA in scoring at 110.5 points per game. Brooklyn looks to Joe Harris and Caris LeVert to step up along with Dinwiddie, Crabbe and Carroll if the Nets hope to continue its offensive explosion without Russell. With the high-scoring Warriors, Brooklyn’s production will be put to a good test.
Small ball Trevor Booker
Atkinson has fully committed to small ball and it is about time. Trevor Booker has started at the center position the last two games and although it is a small sample size, Booker has been a good fit alongside Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
The Nets played a competitive game against a red-hot Boston Celtics team and had a nice win versus the Jazz, and Booker has 12 points and eight boards against Boston and 14 points and five rebounds against his former team the Utah Jazz.
So far, small ball has been a good fit for the starting unit. If Timofey Mozgov continues to be benched, Booker has another shot to make a mark in his new role.