The 3-5 Brooklyn Nets are in Los Angeles tonight, as a scattered semblance of themselves, to take on the 6-3 Los Angeles Clippers in a late-night contest in California. I say scattered semblance because these are not the Brooklyn Nets you’ve gotten used to to start the season; these are your practice squad Brooklyn Nets. Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez are all sitting out with various injuries. With Andrei Kirilenko already sidelined with back spasms, the Nets will suit up ten players tonight. Good thing they’re two deep at each position. They’re going to need it.
The Nets will start Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche.
Where & When: 10:30 P.M. EST, Staples Center, Los Angeles
Watch: YES Network, NBA TV
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
In the Arena: Our man Daniel Savitzky is in Los Angeles covering tonight’s game. Follow him. On Twitter, not in real life.
Even without the team’s stars, here’s three things tonight still worth watching.
- The realness of Shaun Livingston. Livingston shined in preseason playing with the team’s starters, and with half the team sitting, Livingston has another shot to showcase his talent. With Williams sidelined, Livingston took advantage of the extra playing time, leading the Nets on a 20-0 run between the second and third quarters to take the lead en route to an overtime victory. One caveat: Livingston played well because he was able to bounce off the starters, finding them in open spots and taking advantage of the space provided on the floor. Without All-Star teammates flanking him all around, can he still lead an NBA-level offense?
- Dray Day. Andray Blatche will start for Brook Lopez. If this Nets game gets out of hand, Andray Blatche may use the game as an opportunity to build time on his BallisLife mixtape, which could go disastrously, hilariously, wonderfully, or all three. When Blatche has the ball and a head of Blatche, it’s the greatest show in sports. We may see a half-dozen moves we’ve never seen before, even by Blatche standards.
- Lob City. Let’s be honest here. The Nets are sitting most of their team and they’re on the road after an overtime win the night before. They’re probably not going to look good. That means that Chris Paul will loft passes above the rim to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. And that means dunks. Lots and lots of dunks.