Before we talk about today’s game, I just wanted to point a few things out about the Nets’ first win. Up until Friday, Brook Lopez was averaging 14.8 shots per game. Against the Bobcats, Brook got 22 shots. One was from 17 feet, one was from 11, and the rest were inside the paint. As I noted on Thursday, co-coach Del Harris has been blessed with terrific centers throughout his coaching career, and he knows how to get them shots in the paint, and in bulk. Looks like that is exactly what he has planned for Brook. Also, how about Courtney Lee huh? He is still doing all of the little things (4 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block), but he finally coupled it with a good shooting night. When he can do that, he will have a big-time impact on the game (this sure sounds familiar). Granted, it is only one game, but I think we can expect more games like these in the future.
To today’s game. Last time the Nets played the Knicks, they kind of had what looked to be a good offensive game. The problem though is that they played right into the Knicks’ hands. They took a lot of quick shots, took too many threes, and they got into a track-meet with the Knicks. That is the only way that team can win. Also, the Nets rotated poorly and gave up a good amount of wide-open threes. Onto the match-ups:
Devin Harris vs. Chris Duhon
What I really like about Devin Harris’ game is that despite poor shooting performances that happen from time to time, he still can score, because he just knows how to get into the lane and draw contact. Sure he was only 2-14, but he got to the line 13 times, hitting on 11 of those attempts. Oh and he put up 8 assists with only 1 turnover. Today should be no different, Harris is much quicker than Duhon, so you can expect to get him into the lane with ease.
Advantage: Devin Harris
Courtney Lee vs. Wilson Chandler
Courtney Lee looks to be 100% now, but he is going to have his hands full with Chandler. Chandler has great the size of a forward and the skills of a guard. It is going to be interesting to see if Lee can use his quickness to his advantage to get around Chandler so he can attack the basket.
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Al Harrington
CDR did a pretty good job on Gerald Wallace, only holding him to 13 points, but he did grab 20 rebounds. CDR is faced with another big SF in Al Harrington, but his job should be a little bit easier since Harrington doesn’t really crash the boards like Wallace does.
Advantage: Chris Douglas-Roberts
Josh Boone vs. Jarred Jeffries
I don’t think there can be a worse match-up of power forwards in the NBA this year. Both guys are averaging 19+ minutes, and in those minutes, Boone is averaging 4.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while Jeffries is averaging 3.5 and 2.9 per.
Brook Lopez vs. David Lee
Brook Lopez took 20 shots inside the paint last game. The result? 31 points. That was against a solid defender in Tyson Chandler too. I really think that Brook can do it again this game, because while David Lee is great on the boards, he is more suited to be a PF in this league. If the Nets commit to getting the Brook the ball inside early and often, he could duplicate Friday’s performance today. Lee’s best chance is to try and draw him outside with his shot, try to get him into foul trouble.
Advantage: Brook Lopez