Quick note on Friday night’s game. Chris Paul’s play was just a great player doing a great thing there. Not really much they could have done since defending Chris Paul coming off a screen is one of the hardest things to do in the NBA. Also, that “moving screen” call on Yi is something that needs to not get called. You watch a basketball game, you see screens set like that 3 or 4 times a game, and they don’t get called. So why did Yi’s screen get called? 1) It’s late in the game so the refs are looking at everything very closely. 2) It’s the Nets. When you are a 3-32 team as the Nets were going into the New Orleans game, people think that they have no business being in the game, and when they are, the refs start looking for stuff to call to make things make sense. Don’t take this as me blaming the officiating, because I am not doing that. I know this happens, and I accept it. Just stating what I think happens.
As for tonight, Harris is a game time decision with a hurt wrist. From Dave D:
Point guard Devin Harris had an MRI taken on his achy right wrist, and for now, the Nets are calling it tendinitis, but it’s enough to make him a game-time decision tonight against San Antonio.
Harris wore a wrap on the wrist Friday at New Orleans, and he was clearly struggling with it, finishing with four points and four assists in 34 minutes. He shrugged it off as “a little sore,” and said a doctor would take a look at it when the team got to Texas.
Keyon Dooling stepped up mightily against the Hornets that night, going for a season-high 21 points and hitting four 3-pointers. The 3-33 Nets also have Terrence Williams and Chris Quinn in reserve for the 7 PM game against the Spurs.
If he doesn’t play we could be in trouble. I know Dooling is a better defender than Harris, but Harris’ speed matches up well with Parker, and he makes Tony work on defense, which makes him less effective on offense. Onto the lineups.
Devin Harris vs. Tony Parker
According to Dave D, Devin’s wrist has been bothering him since before the Hornets game. His wrist was wrapped up, and he wasn’t really playing well with it. Dooling played great offensively against the Hornets, but on the defensive end Harris/Dooling combined to allow Paul to get 18 assists. Tony Parker could have a similar stat line tonight.
Advantage: Tony Parker
Courtney Lee vs. Manu Ginobili
Courtney Lee is another guy coming off of a big game. Now he won’t be going 5-7 from 3 every night, but this is the kind of effect he can have on a team when he is shooting well. He also chipped in with 6 assists. I don’t think he will ever be a #2 scorer on a team (unless his shot starts falling consistently), but he is a guy that can make a shot or two, play good defense, and be smart with the basketball. As for Ginobili, he has struggled returning from injury, but he is at his best when he is very aggressive with the basketball and forcing the issue. I think Lee can do a decent job of slowing him down.
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Richard Jefferson
CDR only made 3 shots last game, but he still finished with 10 points because he was able to get to the line. It is important for the Nets to get to the line, because there are times where the shots just don’t fall. If the Nets don’t get to the foul line during these stretches, they just aren’t going to score. Plain and simple. Richard Jefferson is back playing in New Jersey. I never really like Richard Jefferson. Didn’t have a reason, but I always thought that he was overrated. Wasn’t his fault, but just never liked him. Anyway, Al Iannazzone has a real nice piece on Jefferson, you should go check it out.
Yi vs. Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan is an all-time great, and I agree with a lot of other experts who say he was the best of the last decade. People call his style “boring” but he is one of my favorite players to watch, so I will be paying attention to him. Yi may get a good amount of open looks from 3 tonight though, because I just don’t see Duncan coming out to challenge Yi’s outside shot (until he starts making it).
Advantage: Tim Duncan
Brook Lopez vs. DeJuan Blair
DeJuan Blair is the steal of last year’s draft in my opinion (narrowly edging out Casspi). I know he had health issues, but he at least deserved someone taking a flier on him early in the second round (he lasted until the 54th pick). The Nets’ didn’t have a second round pick, but I would have loved to see them buy one and try to scoop Blair. It figures the Spurs get him, they always win on picks like this. Brook should be able to have a big game though. Blair is strong and a hard worker, but Brook has such a size advantage that he is just going to be able to turn and shoot over him. I wouldn’t be surprised of Duncan ends up defending Brook and Blair picks up Yi.
Advantage: Brook Lopez