The Brooklyn Nets are 1-8 and just dropped a heartbreaker by two points to the Sacramento Kings. The Golden State Warriors are 10-0 and eight of their ten wins have come by double-digits. The two teams play tonight at 10:30 P.M. EST. It’s safe to say the Nets aren’t exactly heavy favorites.
Despite that, you may find yourself watching. Maybe you want to see how good these Warriors really are. Maybe you’re a diehard fan who can’t miss any games. Maybe the bartender can’t find the remote. If you end up in any of these situations, here’s four things to keep in mind with your eyes on YES Network:
1) The Nets actually beat this team. Since the Nets and Warriors played last season, the Warriors have won 31 of 34 regular season games. But if you include that Nets-Warriors game, it’s 31 of 35.
Yes, the Brooklyn Nets actually defeated the Warriors last season, after a 26-point performance from Brook Lopez and a game-winning shot from Jarrett Jack. The Warriors were at full strength that night, and an off night from Klay Thompson (3-17 shooting) and Draymond Green (1-5 in 30 minutes) mitigated Stephen Curry hitting six threes by himself. Lopez hit shots inside and out, averaging more than a point per minute. It didn’t hurt that the Warriors were on the second half of a road back-to-back — they’d beaten the Celtics 106-101 the night before.
That said, tonight’s different. Brooklyn is now the team on the second half of a road back-to-back on the other side of the country. The Nets rotation lacks three guys that played at least 20 minutes in that game, and two of those guys (Deron Williams and Alan Anderson) hit six of the team’s 10 three-pointers. But it can be done. Under these circumstances? Well… that’ll be just a little harder.
2) CurryWatch. Let’s catch up on Nets/CurryWatch, shall we?
If you’re new to the program, the chart above details how many three-pointers Stephen Curry alone has made this season, as compared to the number of three-pointers made by the entire Brooklyn Nets team. As you can see, Curry has led by game throughout the season, though back-to-back games with eight three-pointers have closed the gap a bit. (The chart live-updates throughout the season, so what you see above may not reflect what is written here.)
At the very least, watching one man go up against an entire team should be as entertaining as it is macabre.
3) The line. The Warriors are favored by a big 17 points tonight, and they’ve been beating teams by an average of seventeen points per game. The Nets are on the second half of a back-to-back, and this might be the kind of game where beating the spread is a moral victory unto itself.
4) Can the Nets control the glass? If the Warriors have any one weakness, it’s probably rebounding: their defensive rebounding percentage ranks 19th in the NBA. They’re probably a little better than that: Andrew Bogut, their best rebounder, has only played in four games.
Despite playing Brook Lopez at center, the Nets are oddly one of the league’s top teams on the glass, ranking fifth in offensive rebounding percentage and 12th in defensive rebounding percentage. Four Nets players are averaging more than nine rebounds per 36 minutes, including surprise rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. At some point, all you can do is hope the Warriors miss, and if they do, the Nets have got to limit them to just one shot if they want any shot at pulling off the upset of the season.