Before we talk about tonight’s game, I want to look at the game Wizard’s game winning play and show you how the Nets defended it. In my opinion, the play was well defended, but better (maybe luckier) offense prevailed:
As Boykins continues to dribble out the clock, Antwan Jaminson comes up and sets a screen for Earl. The reason they are setting the screen is because most teams switch screens late, and the Wizards are trying to get a big to cover the speedy Earl Boykins.
And that is exactly what happens, Kris Humphries is there to cover him. Ben Couch talked to Humphries about the play:
“In that situation, the last thing I wanted to do was get caught in the air and foul,” Humphries said. “I probably should have pushed up a little bit more and tried to get him to go more toward the basket, take a little tougher shot.”
I actually think Humphries did a very good defending Boykins. You don’t want to close out too hard on him, because if he does, he will end up dribbling right around Humphries and get himself an easier shot. Since Humphries is so tall, he basically forced Boykins to shoot over him, which is a good thing. He just made it this time.
As for tonight, the Nets are welcoming All-Star starter Allen Iverson to New Jersey. The Nets have played the Sixers twice during their season-opening losing streak, and lost both by a combined 6 points. Both games were exactly the same, the Nets down two missed a chance at winning/tying the game, then the Sixers made 1 of 2 foul shots, and then the Nets were not able to get a game tying attempt up. Hopefully tonight things will be different. Onto the lineups…
Keyon Dooling vs. Allen Iverson
Iverson has aged quite a bit, but he still shows flashes of his greatness from time to time. If Devin Harris was playing tonight, I would actually be worried he might go off, but I am confident that Dooling (the better defender than Harris) will be able to handle Iverson.
Courtney Lee vs. Jrue Holiday
Even though Jrue Holiday starts, he still plays slightly less than 16 minutes per game. In those minutes, he is only averaging 5.4 points per game. He is going to be a very good player, but it is going to take him some time to get adjusted to the league. When Holiday is covering Lee, I expect him to be aggressive and attack the basket. That is something he does very well.
Advantage: Courtney Lee
Chris Douglas-Roberts vs. Andre Iguodala
CDR is starting to get back into a rhythm a little bit. He was attacking the basket a little more, and looking for chances to get a shot up. I have been saying that I would like to see CDR be a little selfish as he tries to work out of this slump.
Advantage: Andre Iguodala
Yi vs. Elton Brand
Kris Humphries had his first bad game as a Net, but that didn’t really hurt the team since Yi was able to play pretty well during the game. I think what Kiki is going to do from here on out is play the hot hand. Whoever is playing well will be out on the court, and last game it was Yi. I did like that Kiki put in Humphries instead of Yi for that last possession.
Advantage: Elton Brand
Brook Lopez vs. Samuel Dalembert
Brook Lopez shouldn’t have any problem with Samuel Dalembert in my opinion. Dalembert is a very good shot blocker, but he doesn’t have the size to keep Brook out of his scoring spots (and that is the only time Brook seems to have trouble). Lopez has the strength to get into Dalembert’s body and negate his jumping ability. That is key when you are dealing with a very good shot blocker.
Advantage: Brook Lopez