Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets @ Phoenix Suns

The Nets haven’t played in four days but have been in the news nonstop, of course because of the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors. Who knows where this deal is now and frankly I’d like to either have something done or just forget it, but the team will have to try and put that aside tonight against the Suns. For any of you who have not been paying attention to the proceedings out West so far this season, this is not the same Phoenix Suns team of the past decade. They are six games under .500 and are 2-8 in their last 10 games. So the Nets should theoretically have a chance tonight, theoretically.

Distractions. This will easily be the biggest factor in tonight’s game if you ask me. Two-thirds of the roster have been rumored in trades over the past three days so you have to wonder what some of these players are thinking right now. Avery Johnson addressed the issue the other day and said he does not think any trade will happen during the team’s four-game road trip, but to think that this deal hovering over the team will not be a distraction is just naive.

The Brothers Lopez. Brook goes up against his brother Robin for the first time this season, and the two should be matched up at center for the majority of the game tonight. Brook’s rebounding struggles have been well documented, and I couldn’t help but laugh the other day when Avery said he doesn’t dream about getting Carmelo, he dreams about his center getting 10 boards. I know where you’re coming from there Coach, and I’d love to see the same thing.

Keep it Close and Give Yourself a Chance. Last week the Nets had what was probably their best win of the season over the Chicago Bulls, and then promptly got destroyed by the Wizards and Bucks on back-to-back nights. I realize the team’s floor leader Devin Harris did not play against Milwaukee, but the Nets were not even competitive without him in the lineup. Because of everything going on with this team, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see it get ugly tonight, but I hope I’m wrong and they have a chance to win in the 4th quarter.

For more of the Suns, check out TrueHoop affiliate Valley of the Suns.