Cheerio! The Nets (17-43) look to break their six-game losing streak by crossing the Atlantic Ocean to London and facing the Toronto Raptors (17-44) in a back-to-back set today and tomorrow afternoon. Here are some keys to the game to consider, before you grab a cup of tea, some biscuits, and watch:
Health of our PGs: Deron Williams and Jordan Farmar are both apparently “available” and ready to play tonight but what should our expectations be? Williams is gutting out a tendon issue in his non-shooting hand, something that’s going to plague him the rest of the season. He wants to play, which is great, but that might have something to do with his 13-39 shooting since joining the team. Farmar’s status puts Ben Uzoh on notice, who I thought, once again, did a decent job filling in for Jordan in his absence, and may make his reasonable but still significant contract expendable in the off-season. Remember, cap room pople. We needs it.
Andrea Bargnani: Toronto’s Center scored 32 points and grabbed 9 rebounds the last time these two team’s met and as we witnessed on Monday night, the Nets frontcourt has a hard time defending against outside shooting big men. Bargnani is one of the best when it comes to shooting big men, so Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries are going to have to get out of their comfort zone and learn how to defend effectively or he’s going to go bananas on this team.
Just Win Something: The Nets need to get this monkey off their backs and get their first win of the Deron Williams era. The timing has been unfortunate, as their first three games back from the all-star break came against the best team in the NBA in San Antonio, and two Western Conference team’s that have been playing better recently. The Raptors are a bad team, as bad as the Nets but without the luxury of adding the best PG in the game the past week. The Nets HAVE to split these games, and there’s honestly no reason why they can’t sweep. Enough with the excuses. Start with playing a little bit of defense and the rest should follow.