The Nets take on the Pacers tonight on the heels of four consecutive losses. We welcome Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds to help us preview the game.
1. How do you stop the Pacers’ attack?
- Danny Savitzky: Keep the ball on the perimeter. Granger’s going to get his points from the outside regardless, but the Nets need to limit the damage inside from Roy Hibbert and David West. That said, it’s a lot easier said than done, especially when your post defenders aren’t, well, adept in that area.
- Chris Hooker: One thing that is advantageous for the Nets is that Danny Granger has not shot the ball particularly well this season. The Pacers still post a pretty good 3-1 record, despite winning close games versus the Raptors and the Cavs. With Granger struggling, I don’t think that the Pacers are as good as advertised. To stop Indiana, the Nets must stop Danny Granger and keep his shooting numbers down. Put DeShawn Stevenson on him for most of the night, play some tough, aggressive D and I think the Nets may be able to stop their shooting attack.
- Jared Wade, Eight Points, Nine Seconds: Just show up. The Pacers are shooting 38.5 percent and have yet to eclipse 40 percent in any of their four games so far. For the Nets, it wouldn’t be about stopping Indiana so much as finding ways to score since the Pacers defense has been good (hence, why they are still somehow 3-1 at this point despite the offensive woes).
2. What change needs to be made for the Nets to compete tonight?
- Danny Savitzky: Limit the turnovers. The Nets got killed last night awarding the Cavaliers plenty of open looks in transition by giving the ball away at a ridiculous rate. The Pacers can play fast, so if the Nets repeat that effort, they won’t stand a chance.
- Chris Hooker: I wish it was only one change. I got three. 1) Play Deron Williams — you know, that top-three point guard the Nets traded for back in February — at point guard. Seems like a no brainer, right? Well for whatever reason, Avery doesn’t see this and instead plays backups 34 minutes a game when he has a perfectly talented distributer on his roster. Deron is a pass-first point guard, why on Earth is he playing the majority of his minutes as a shooting guard? This brings me to 2) Don’t play Sudianta Gaines any more than 20 minutes. Gaines is a nice energy guy off the bench. He is not a starter. He should not be taking assists from Deron Williams. 3) Start MarShon Brooks. Has there been anyone on offense who has done what Brooks has done so far this season? No. He is clearly the Nets best shooter right now and when he gets hot early, he is tough to beat. Please play him more minutes than Sudianta Gaines. Please.
- Jared Wade: Nothing. If the Pacers keep playing like they have, the Nets will be in the game. They need to be hoping less for change and more for Indiana’s stagnant, scuffling, status quo offense to show up again.
3. Can the Nets bounce back from last night’s loss?
- Danny Savitzky: A lot like in 2009-2010, if there’s one thing the Nets will learn this season, it’s resiliency: having thick skin after a loss. I don’t suspect a competing effort tonight will be about bouncing back; it will simply be about staying with the Pacers. Unfortunately, the Nets can’t do that. Pacers win by double digits.
- Chris Hooker: Probably not. After watching that embarrassing loss to Cleveland last night, I came to the conclusion that a good percentage of that fell on Coach. He made some pretty dumb decisions that were simply not in the best interests of winning. The Nets can win if they coach smart. Unfortunately, it looks like they have a different plan going forward and it’s not a good one. The Pacers have talented shooters in Danny Granger and Paul George and aggressive rebounders in David West and Roy Hibbert. Unless some serious line up changes are made for tonights game, I just don’t see the Nets pulling out a win.
- Jared Wade: The Pistons just beat Indiana on Saturday and the Cavs took them to overtime on Friday. So, yes, even the lowly Nets, at home, have a chance to out-class the Pacers right now.