Time: 8 p.m. EST
Where: American Airlines Arena
Watch: YES Network, FOX Sports GO
Listen: WFAN 101.9, 660 AM
The Brooklyn Nets suffered their third straight defeat in a 128-113 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday in what was a game dominated by bigs and Rajon Rondo’s dishes.
Next up? Another road matchup with the Miami Heat.
The Heat are starting to find their groove, as they’ve won seven out of their last 10 games after a slow start to the season. Miami has done this without arguably its best player in Hassan Whiteside, but the pairing of Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk has held its own in his absence.
Tyler Johnson was a huge part of the team’s victory over the Nets in Mexico City, and he may prove to be a pivotal force in the next matchup as well. He is averaging 18.6 points in his last three games, and his slashing style of play mixed with a solid mid-range game has proven to be quite effective against his competition.
It will be interesting to see what the Nets throw at him defensively to try and limit his production.
Three things to watch for
Currently, Whiteside is one of the better centers the league has to offer. After 13 games of being sidelined with a knee injury, he makes his return against Brooklyn’s weaker frontcourt.
Tenacious rebounding has been his mantra since he revitalized his NBA career, and that is what can be expected to go into this game.
Is a hobbled Whiteside is capable of grabbing 15+ rebounds on any given tonight? The Nets will be the first to find out.
Nik Stauskas went off in the second half of Wednesday night’s contest. He hit seven threes in the second half out of 10 shots (!).
One can see that Stauskas is starting to settle into Kenny Atkinson’s offense. In his first few games, he tended to over-dribble and not look for open teammates. Now, he is shooting more outside shots and acknowledging his limitations.
Quincy Acy has been looking like his old self once again. He scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and 4-of-5 from three-point land on Wednesday.
If Acy gets back to doing what got him his roster spot in the first place, he can give the team the boost it needs. Tyler Zeller has shot the three pretty well this season, but he doesn’t shoot them often.
The Nets need a big that consistently brings the threat of a shot to open up the offense. Time will tell if Acy can use his minutes to fill that hole for Brooklyn.