Pregame 3-on-3: Nets-Hawks Open Thread

The Nets are set to face the Hawks for a third time this season and if the series continues the way it has so far, the Nets are in for a long night. Through the two games, the cumulative score is Atlanta 211, New Jersey 168.

Joining us to tell us how he thinks the Nets will fall again is from the ESPN Truehoop Hawks’ blog, Hoopinion, Brett LaGree.

1. The game’s high scorer will be…?

Dennis Velasco: MarShon Brooks will do what Brooks does – drop buckets. In the first meeting with the Hawks, he was tied for the game’s top scorer (17) and was only two points away from the lead in the second meeting. Deron Williams, the leading scorer of that second game (23) is also a candidate here and will look to bounce back from his previous performance against the Miami Heat where he took 16 shots and only made for of them. Hmm… I’ll go with Swag on this one.

Brett LaGree: Josh Smith. He’s going to take at least five jump shots a game. He’s
made that clear. The key to his effectiveness is taking an additional 10 to 12 shots going toward the rim. The Hawks have the shots to go around for him to do this. Here’s hoping he makes it three good performances in a row.

Justin DeFeo: Joe Johnson. He’s leading the Hawks in points and aside from DeShawn Stevenson, the Nets lack the type of players to deal with Johnson’s size and skill.

2. The game’s leading rebounder will be…?

Dennis Velasco: There isn’t a dominant rebounder on the Hawks, so I’ll go with Kris Humphries and his 11.1 RPG average, which would have placed him third in the league, but because he doesn’t qualify (play in 85% of team’s games), he’s not recognized. At least statistically for his rebounding. Slighting a primadonna “celebrity” that has no business being a celebrity, yes. Validated rebounding numbers in the eyes of the NBA, no.

Brett LaGree: Kris Humphries, professional rebounder. With Josh Smith and Al Horford likely having to help defend both Deron Williams and MarShon Brooks, Humphries will have freedom to pursue missed shots with relative impunity.

Justin DeFeo: Kris Humphries. The Nets have virtually no one else who can grab rebounds, therefore most of Atlanta’s missed shots will fall to Humphries when he’s on the floor. Also he’s established himself this season boarding at 11.1 a game.

3. Who will tonight’s game?

Dennis Velasco: The game is at home and I do believe that the third time could be the charm, so I’ll go with the Nets. Yeah, I’m going with blind faith on this one.

Brett LaGree: Hawks. It won’t be as easy as it was the first time in Newark but the
Hawks match up well with the Nets. Unless Deron Williams creates a lot of high-percentage shots for this teammates, the Hawks will outlast them.

Justin DeFeo: Going to take the chalk here and say the Hawks. I still see no feasible way the Nets can take a game from a good team, even at home. The Hawks, despite what some may think, are a good team.