After four days of meeting soccer clubs, ceremonies for David Stern, executive panels, HORSEplay, and Eurostepping around Europeans on the street, the Brooklyn Nets finally do what they came to London to do in the first place: play a professional basketball game in London. Yes, the Nets take on the Atlanta Hawks today, at 3:00 P.M. EST but 8:00 PM in London at the 02 Arena. It will count as an away game for the Nets. The Hawks are 20-18, good for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, most recently losing 108-101 to the Grizzlies in Memphis.
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The Nets played the Hawks on January 7th, beating them 91-86 in the midst of their five-game winning streak. (Rihanna was there. Read more about it here.) Most notably, Kevin Garnett invented (or released, at least) the “Joe Jesus” moniker after the game for Johnson, the player who spent seven years earning All-Star appearances in Atlanta.
The Hawks will have mostly the same lineup they played nine days ago. Pero Antic is nursing back spasms, but he’s expected to play after making the trip with the team. (Though, as Andrei Kirilenko taught us, back spasms can be a bit unpredictable.)
The Nets have complained a bit about jet lag (though Joe Johnson seems just fine, shelling out ten grand at Chinawhite), but they’re facing a team that’s done the same thing.
Tipoff at 3 P.M. (Again, that’s 3 P.M. EST.)