Nets Gameday: Brooklyn looks to get legs back in Utah against Jazz

Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz
Jordan Clarkson passes the ball away from Brooklyn Nets forward Nicolas Claxton during the second quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets road trip continues on Friday with a game in Utah to take on the Jazz (9 p.m.). It will be the first of two meetings this season between the Nets and Jazz.

The Net’s recent form has been incredibly poor, losing six games in a row, and will look to get back on track against a good Jazz team that will be getting an important player back.

After missing eight consecutive games, Donovan Mitchell is expected to play against the Nets on Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

While the Nets will continue to be without Joe Harris, Kevin Durant, and LaMarcus Aldridge. You can also add James Harden to that list after he was ruled out of the game on Friday afternoon.

It is no surprise that the Nets have really struggled without Durant, going 2-7 since he injured his MCL against the Pelicans on Jan. 15 and they are 5-10 without Durant this entire season.

Following the sixth loss in a row on Wednesday night James Harden reporters, “There’s no concern.”

“We don’t have our entire team, and this is happening to us,” he added.

After playing back-to-back nights, the Nets got Thursday off and were hopefully able to rest and get their legs back under them. Scoring only 101 points against the Kings on Wednesday (3rd worst defense in NBA) with only 15 points in the 4th quarter, the team looked exhausted and defeated.

Following the loss, Steve Nash did say the team looked tired and “I thought James (Harden) looked tired. He didn’t have his legs tonight.”

Now the Nets will be without two of their three superstars on Friday night in their fourth game of a five-game road trip.  Harden was announced to the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves on Thursday (the 10th time in his career).

Wednesday night was Harden’s worst game in some time, scoring 4 points while going 2-for-11 from the field, with 6 turnovers and posting a -21.

Following the King’s loss, in response to being asked about a players-only meeting, Harden said “I think we’ve done too much talking, we just gotta go out there and do it.”

The Nets are playing the Jazz at the right time, as they are in a little funk themselves. While being without Mitchell and Gobert, they have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games and have struggled against the Eastern Conference all season going 11-10.

Nets Notables

Despite losing six games in a row, the Nets remain only three games behind the first seed in the Eastern Conference. … The Nets have struggled against the Western Conference this season, posting a 9-13 record, while they are 20-9 against the Eastern Conference. … The last time Harden struggled offensively (scoring 13 points against the Timberwolves), the next game he posted a monster offensive performance, scoring 33 points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a loss against the Lakers.

Nets Injury Report

  • James Harden (left hamstring tightness)- OUT
  • LaMarcus Aldridge (Left ankle sprain)- OUT
  • David Duke Jr. (G League- two-way)- OUT
  • Paul Millsap (Personal reasons)- OUT
  • Joe Harris (Left ankle surgery)- OUT
  • Kevin Durant (MCL sprain)- OUT

Jazz Injury Report

  • Rudy Gobert (Left calf strain)- OUT
  • Danuel House (Health and safety protocols)- OUT
  • Joe Ingles (Left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear)- OUT
  • Jordan Clarkson (Right knee soreness)- QUESTIONABLE
  • Hassan Whiteside (Low back strain)- QUESTIONABLE

How to watch

Friday’s game will air on YES Network with Ian Eagle, Sarah Kustok, and Michael Grady on the broadcast. The radio broadcast can be heard on WFAN 101.9 FM / 660 AM with Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw on the call.