The struggling Nets (10-28) continue their four game road trip out west against the incumbent champion (and red hot) Lakers (29-11). Here are some keys for tonight’s game.
Don’t Do Anything Stupid. Like Get Yourself Killed: Earlier this week, the Lakers took out the dejected Cavs 112-57. Putting aside LeBron’s karma tweets, can you imagine a team in this era by that many points? Sadly, the Nets, with their current starting five and dejected aura around them, have to make sure they compete from the word go, because the Lakers have demonstrated what they can do to an unprepared and unmotivated opponent.
Get Brook Back in the Flow of the Game: Much is being made about Brook Lopez’s reaction to getting benched in Phoenix on Wednesday. I understand the guy is struggling. No one wants him to be doing better than Nets fans. But Avery Johnson’s tough love may not be registering here, and the two need to find a way to kiss and make-up because with or without ‘Melo, this team (I think) still considers Lopez a building block, as he should be.
The Usual Stuff About Kobe: Kobe Bryant is still on the Lakers and though LA has a bunch of ways to beat you, he’s still got to be exhibit A for the Nets. Have Sasha Vujacic hound the crap out of Kobe on defense and see what happens.
Former Lakers Unite: If ever there was a game for a couple of Nets to stick it to their old team, this is the night. Jordan Farmar was always unhappy in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, and Sasha has always been competing for Kobe’s alpha male love. Maybe tonight they can prove something.