Nets riding high before showdown against the Atlanta Hawks

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Phillips Arena
Watch: YES Network
Listen:: 660 AM, 101.9 FM

How about those Nets?!

The Nets dropped 122 points on the Memphis Grizzlies in a 122-109 victory Monday in game six of their eight-game road trip. That was an example of what could’ve been this season with a healthy Jeremy Lin as he scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Let’s face it, the Nets are clearly a different team with Jeremy Lin at the helm. Everyone goes back to their regular position and minutes. One player who has reaped the benefits of a healthy Lin is Sean Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick, now sans Bojan Bogdanovic, scored a team-high 23 points, including 16-17 from the free throw line. This was one game after his 20-point performance against Portland on Saturday — have things finally turned around for the sharpshooter?

The rookies were also a big lift as Caris LeVert scored 14 points and Isaiah Whitehead finished with 15. In all, the Nets had six different players in double-figures.

The Nets, who have won two of their last four, look to go on their first two-game winning streak of the season against the Atlanta Hawks.

It would be somewhat ironic for the Nets to get their first two-game win streak against Kenny Atkinson’s former team where he spent the prior four years as an assistant coach. Atlanta is currently jockeying for playoff position as the Hawks hold the fifth seed, three games behind the Toronto Raptors, but only two games ahead of the Indiana Pacers.

The Hawks are actually on a three-game losing streak, with the latest loss coming at the hands of the Golden State Warriors and have only won three of their last 10 games. This will be the second of four meetings between the two clubs this season as the Hawks took the first meeting by a final score of 117-97.

Brook Lopez finished with 20 points, but it wasn’t enough to take down the trio of Dennis Schroder (19 points), Paul Milsap (14), and Dwight Howard (14).

The Nets hope to start their first winning streak of the season, while they catch the Hawks on a slight skid.

3 Things to Watch for in Nets-Hawks:

1. Jeremy Lin

That’s right, the Nets’ starting point guard is back and they have won two of their last four with Lin out there. Lin is coming off back-to-back 18 point performances. Can he keep it up and get another win?

2. Sean Kilpatrick’s resurgence

Kilpatrick had been in a slump for a while — like, one that was bordering on a few month’s long. He was struggling to handle the point guard duties, shooting a low percentage, and turning the ball over. Hopefully, most of this was due to playing out of position and starting.

Now, he is back to his old ways from the beginning of the season when he was that microwave off the bench. Kilpatrick has scored 43 points in his last two games and averages 20.7 in Nets wins.

You see the correlation there?

3. Kenny Atkinson vs. Mike Budenholzer

This is teacher vs. student, round 2. Before the Nets hired Atkinson as head coach, he spent the previous four years as an assistant under Budenholzer. Can Atkinson take what he learned from Coach Bud and get his team a win? Last time out, the Hawks got the better of Atkinson and the Lin-less Nets — let’s see them flip the script tonight.