Nets-Bobcats: 3 Things To Watch

Paul Pierce
AP

2) Who’s going to score?

 

Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson, Jason Collins, Andrei Kirilenko

AP

The Nets often boast about their depth, noting that they’re not sure who’s going to go off on any given night. This night, they might need a surprise player to pull one out.

Since the trade deadline, Deron Williams and Marcus Thornton have led separate charges: Williams leads the team in points per game, Thornton leads the bench in points per game. But both Williams (illness) and Thornton (back) are game-time decisions, meaning there’s a 50-50 shot either will play. Even if both suit up, there’s a good chance they’ll produce in limited amounts. Additionally, Andrei Kirilenko and Kevin Garnett are both out.

So who will the Nets rely on to score? Andray Blatche is one possibility, but Blatche has shot just 45.9 percent in 18 games since the All-Star Break and is as reliable as atmospheric noise. Joe Johnson can put up points and Paul Pierce has been effective with limited offense, but the Nets need more.

The Bobcats are a top-seven defensive team, doing most of their damage by limiting offensive rebounds and fouls. But they’ve also allowed the second-worst three-point percentage in the NBA this year, allowing 37.5 percent shooting on 22 attempts per game. So it might behoove the Nets to fire away from deep — after all, they’ve shot 43.1 percent (22-51) from deep against the Bobcats in their last two wins against Charlotte.

Except without Thornton and Williams at their best (or at all), they’ll have to find scoring elsewhere. Two perimeter bench players have struggled of late: Mirza Teletovic hasn’t shot the ball well after a hot start, with shooting percentages of 36.5-29.2-63.6 since his breakout game against the Dallas Mavericks, and Alan Anderson, who’s job was usurped by Thornton, has shot 32.4-31.9-70.0 since Thornton joined the team.

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