Pregame Open Thread: Atlanta Hawks at New Jersey Nets

It was a tough end to the Nets West Coast road trip to say the least, and they’re back in action tonight against the Atlanta Hawks at The Rock. After beginning the season 2-0 (both wins at home) the Nets have now lost 9 of 11 and although they have been competitive, they have not been able to get the W’s. The Hawks are coming off of an embarrassing loss at home to Celtics, where they lost by 23 and were outscored 39-13 in the first quarter. Aside from a Halloween loss to the Heat, the Nets 3 other losses at home have come by a combined 5 points. I’m sure they will continue to be competitive and keep games close but they need to start winning, especially at home.

Morrow and Outlaw. Mark wrote about the Nets starting shooting guard and small forward last week, and one of the team’s major issues has been getting these two to play well on the same night. Against Denver they each scored in double figures but shot a combined 10-25 from the field, not exactly a sparkling percentage. It would be nice to see a game where both of these guys shoot the ball well and contribute consistently.

The Nets Frontcourt. It is no secret that Kris Humphries has been a completely different player over the past few weeks and has really helped the Nets down low. But the Nets overall production in the paint Saturday against Denver was very impressive and is something they should build upon. Humphries, Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors combined for 44 points and 24 rebounds against the Nuggets and although Atlanta has a solid post player in Al Horford, the Nets will need consistent numbers from their inside players to get a win tonight.

Get an Early Lead. The Atlanta Hawks started the season 6-0 but have lost 6 of their last 8 and their effort has been questioned in some recent losses. The Nets are desperate for a home win tonight and the Hawks could be the perfect opponent, but they need to start fast. Coming off of a poor performance last night, Atlanta will be looking to start fast, and it will benefit the Nets to get an early lead and demoralize the Hawks.

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*Ed. note: After this article went up, it was learned that Terrence Williams will be inactive tonight for disciplinary reasons. More information to follow as details become available.