The last two games sucked. We know that. The game against Atlanta was especially depressing. The Nets are going to have some bad games, they are young and there have been nights that the effort wasn’t there. The good thing though was they always came back strong and put out a good effort, and that is why I have expected the Nets to keep Wednesday night’s game close. It wasn’t close.
Seeing the Nets play against a real run and gun team makes me wonder about why Kiki still insists of having a run and gun team. The Nets are good at pushing the ball when they have the advantage (when they get a turnover or have a guard/wing get the rebound and just push it up) but if they don’t have the numbers, they need to pull it out and run their half court set. That is where Kiki loses me, he seems to encourage the Nets to run it no matter what, no matter the situation. As I showed you the other day, the Nets’ offensive sets are pretty good, and against a team like the Hawks, they should have been slowing the ball down and running those sets, not trying to out run them…onto the matchups!
Devin Harris vs. Chris Paul
Last year, this would have been a fun matchup to watch. This year, meh. I have fears that Chris Paul will just run circles around Devin. He did that last year, but Harris was able to respond. This year, Devin Harris is struggling on both sides of the basketball. I have been watching past Nets’ games trying to see what the problem is with his defense, and I think he uses his hands too much (there will probably be a post on this soon). He reaches too much instead of relying on his feet and staying in front of his man.
Advantage: Chris Paul
Courtney Lee vs. Devin Brown
You wouldn’t believe me when I told you this, but Devin Brown is actually the key to the Hornets success. Don’t laugh, I am serious. They are 11-1 when he scores over 11 or more points. This makes sense when you think about it though. You are going to get your points from Peja, Paul, and West, so if the Hornets get a 4th guy to go into double figures, it means they are flowing on offense.
Advantage: Courtney Lee
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Peja Stojakovic
CDR has been one of the few bright spots for the Nets. His offense was always expected to be there, but on the defensive end, CDR has been able to hang with guys like Peja. Peja, doesn’t have the speed to get by you and he isn’t really that good in the post, so you just gotta watch the shot, and I think CDR’s long arms will be able to effect him.
Yi vs. David West
These are the games you worry about Yi…even “new Yi.” West has a nice touch from the foul line extended, and he with his nice size he has a good back to the basket game. I can’t wait to see how Yi handles West, I am looking forward to this, this can be the matchup of the night.
Advantage: David West
Brook Lopez vs. Emeka Okafor
If you want to see how Brook will do against Emeka, just look at his performance against the man he was traded for, Tyson Chandler. Both Emeka and Tyson are tall/athletic shot blockers. Brook played well against Chandler because he was able to get into his body and negate his athleticism, I think he can do the same to Emeka.
Advantage: Emeka Okafor