We get LeBron tonight, and this could get real ugly early. The Nets could also keep up with the Cavs though if they do the things I have pointed out in our opponent scout. You have to run on them, and the Nets need to run their pick and roll successfully (which has been difficult so far this year). Not just Devin and Brook at the high post either. You can have Brook set the screens at the high post, and use Courtney Lee and CDR to come off of them. Both have been shooting well, and Shaq usually doesn’t get over and help in time, so that will lead to open shots. If Shaq does come up and try do defend the shot, both of these guys have the handle to get around him. Onto the match-ups!
Devin Harris vs. Mo Williams
The Cavs use Mo Williams as the 2 guard when LeBron is in the game, because LeBron usually has the ball in his hands. This is tough for defenders, because if they focus too much on LeBron, Williams will spot up and hit the open three. Devin Harris has the quicks to get by Williams, so hopefully he can get in the lane and cause havoc.
Courtney Lee vs. Anthony Parker
Anthony Parker is a knock-down shooter who can play some defense. I think he is a perfect fit in this offense, because he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. With LeBron handling the ball, he gets ton of open looks. I think Parker and Lee are comparable, but Parker will have the better game tonight.
Advantage: Anthony Parker
CDR vs. LeBron James
Not sure if CDR is playing, but what he has been telling the media makes me think that he wants to (and will) play tonight. This is a tough match-up for anyone, especially the smaller CDR. CDR’s best bet is to give him the shot and prevent the drive. LeBron can hit the 3-ball, but I’d rather give him those instead of letting him get to the lane accumulate fouls and finish with big dunks.
Advantage: LeBron James
Josh Boone vs. J.J. Hickson
The Cavs have moved Anderson Varejao to the bench and implemented J.J. Hickson to the starting lineup. This move makes sense, Hickson is more offensive minded and more athletic, and that fits what the Cavs try to do to start games. Josh Boone is…well…Josh Boone…
Advantage: J.J. Hickson
Brook Lopez vs. Shaq
Going back to my opponent scout, you can get position on Shaq. He tends to get lazy when the action is happening away from him, and when he does, you can get into him with a quick and hard post up. The problem is the Nets are going to have to recognize this to get the ball to Brook. I can see getting two good posts in, not getting the ball on either one, and then starting to float. That being said, he will still put up his numbers.
Advantage: Brook Lopez
Oh and on a non-basketball related note…Cliff Lee to the Mariners? Awesome!