Hours after the NBA announced that Nets coach Jason Kidd won the Eastern Conference coach of the Month, the 39-33 Nets are in Brooklyn hosting the 49-23 Houston Rockets. A win tonight would clinch a Nets playoff spot.
BY SAM LACHOW
|7-3||Last 10 Games||6-4|
|104.4||Points scored per 100 possessions||108.5|
|104.2||Points allowed per 100 possessions||102.4|
|93.8||Possessions per game||98.4|
|45.6%||Field goal percentage||47.6%|
|Joe Johnson (15.5)||Top Scorer||James Harden (25.0)|
Projected starting lineup: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Omer Asik
The Nets drew some matchup luck: Dwight Howard is out with an ankle injury and Patrick Beverley is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Still, the Nets will need to contain Harden, Parsons, and Jeremy Lin, who had a memorable game against the Nets during the Linsanity tenure. Still, even with their shaky play of late, the Nets have the third best record in the Eastern Conference against Western Conference teams.
While everyone wanted to doubt the Dwight Howard-led Rockets, the trio of Howard, Harden and Parsons has been deadly. The Rockets are one of the elite teams in the league. They feature an up-tempo offense that scores at a high level. Harden and Howard are All-Stars, while Parsons continues improving.
The Rockets push the ball: Lin, Parsons, Howard and Harden are best when they are on the move. Fortunately for them, their team is young and hungry, and they penetrate and rebound well.
The Nets should fear Omer Asik. A phenomenal rebounder and fierce on the defensive end, Asik can change a game’s momentum by blocking a few shots, gobbling up some offensive rebounds and even shutting down the best interior post player.