Opponent: Phoenix Suns
Time: 7:30 PM EST
Location: Barclays Center
Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports GO
Listen: WCBS 880 AM
The month of March has sparked a fire in the Brooklyn Nets. Not only did Brook Lopez hit a game-winning, fade-away jumper Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons, but the Nets are 5-7 since the calendar turned. Sure, Five wins in 12 games are not exactly setting the world on fire, but when compared to the months of February and January — where the Nets only won one game — it’s a much-welcomed improvement.
Brooklyn has had 13 attempts so far this season to win consecutive games, with all just slipping away. But tonight’s matchup with a 22-win Phoenix Suns team is a golden opportunity for the Nets to get over the hump. Playing without Jeremy Lin, the Nets seemed as if they might have trouble matching up against a perineal playoff team like the Detroit Pistons, however, Lopez had other plans in mind. Possibly motivated from an All-Star matchup with Andre Drummond, Lopez not only hit the game-winner but dropped 27 points and 7 rebounds as well. The Nets were fueled by three players that were not on the roster when the season started: K.J. McDaniels, Archie Goodwin, and Spencer Dinwiddie, all of whom played big minutes and scored in double figures.
Brooklyn will be looking for the season sweep against the Suns as these teams matched up back in early November with Nets winning big 122-104. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was a big reason behind the Nets win and the now-converted power forward had 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists. Lin also sat out the Nets first matchup with Phoenix, thus allowing Joe Harris, Sean Kilpatrick, and Trevor Booker to pick up the offensive load as they all scored 19 points.
3 Things to Watch for in Nets-Suns:
1. Caris LeVert
After struggling the first few months, LeVert has seemed to finally get his three-point shot down. Against the Pistons, LeVert finished 3-for-4 from deep and, since the month of March, LeVert has surpassed his season average of 31.1% from three-point land in just six games.
2. Containing Devin Booker
The former No. 13 overall pick is seeing career-highs in most of the major statistical categories in another lost season with Phoenix. The Kentucky product is taking full advantage of his 36 minutes a game and is averaging a career-high 20.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per contest.
At this point, with Dragan Bender, Tyson Chandler, and Eric Bledsoe all done for the year, he’ll be one of the only major pain points for Brooklyn.
3. Archie Goodwin
In 17 minutes against Detroit, Goodwin scored 10 points on 5-for-10 shooting along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. Tonight, Goodwin gets a chance at revenge as he’ll go against the Suns, his former team of three years.