On paper, last night looked like a moral victory, but to me it was much worse than it appeared. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but that is just how I see it. A lot of mental mistakes which I guess can be expected from a young team, but you would think they were going to work the kinks out during the preseason. Let’s see if they can get healthy against a team suffering from injury issues. Antwan Jaminson is out and Caron Butler suffered a knee injury last night and didn’t play in the second half, so don’t expect him to suit up.
Nets Starting Lineup
- PG – Devin Harris
- SG – Courtney Lee
- SF – Chris Douglas-Roberts
- PF – Yi Jianlian
- C – Brook Lopez
Timberwolves Starting Lineup
- PG – Gilbert Arenas
- SG – Mike Miller
- SF – Nick Young
- PF – Fabricio Oberto
- C – Brendan Haywood
Fabricio Oberto vs. Yi Jianlian – Yes, Yi has been very impressive his first two games, but he hasn’t really gone up against a bulldog type of player. Sure, it is easy to be aggressive against guys like Brain Cardinal and Ryan Anderson. Let’s see if he can do it against a tough hardworker like Oberto.
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Nick Young – For the third game in a row, Chris Douglas-Roberts has a favorable match-up at the three (if Nick Young is indeed starting), he has something like 5 or 6 inches on Young, who isn’t the most dedicated defender. If CDR can’t get anything going against him tonight, we might have to take another look at the whole CDR starting thing.
Matchup Of The Night
Devin Harris vs. Gilbert Arenas – Two games in, it looks like Gilbert Arenas is showing no effect of his knee surgeries. Hell, he isn’t even wearing a knee brace, which is astonishing. If these two guys get it going, you might be seeing two 30+ point 8+ assist performances. It’s going to be fun to watch.
Keys To Victory
All Eyes On Gil – Gilbert Arenas is the only true scoring option on this team (If Butler is indeed out). Sure there are a lot of good role player type guys, but if you can shut Arenas down (or force him into 7 turnovers – like last night), you have a pretty good chance at getting the W.
Get Brook Going Early – So what do you do with your young stud center who only played 25 minutes last night and didn’t really get into the game? You get him the ball early and you get the ball to him often. Haywood is a pretty solid defender, but he isn’t strong enough to keep him out of the post. Plus he has looked real good at the high post.
Let’s Run – This team was talked about as a run and gun style, getting out on the break and making things happen. We haven’t seen much of that team. I mean every once in a while you got Devin and Brook running a two man break, but that is about it. Let’s see if the Nets can get some running done against the three shooting Wizards.
Current Prediction Record: 1-1
The Wizards have to be a cursed team. They have a great big three, but it always seems that one or two of them are injured. If Butler doesn’t play, I see the Nets running away with this one. If he plays it might be closer, but I think tonight is the night the Nets get their first win.