Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks

As the Nets’ March Madness road trip (naming the road trip makes the Nets seem like the Lakers) continues, they head to Phillips Arena in Atlanta to take on the Hawks at 7 PM eastern. Deron Williams will, once again, be out, as he continues to rehabilitate his wrist. Sundiata Gaines will also be out, so Jordan Farmar and Ben Uzoh will man the point-guard position.

Here are a few keys to the game:

Anthony Morrow’s Shooting “Woes”: It’s hard to complain about Anthony Morrow’s shooting, but he’s been ice cold of late. He’s only shooting 39 percent in March from the field, and if Morrow isn’t shooting, he’s not doing much at all. It’s especially important for Morrow to get back on the offensive track without Deron Williams in the lineup, as there isn’t that much firepower to go around.

Stop Playing Johan Petro: I’ve been able to at least tolerate Petro’s presence on this team, as his defense isn’t totally awful — I could live with his occasional 17-foot jumper. The final straw, and I know it was garbage time, was when he fired a three toward the end of the game against the Magic. Just pass the ball, Petro. There’s no reason at this point during the season that it’s valuable to play him, so why not get Brandan Wright in there for some extended burn as the season winds down?

Kris Humphries and Josh Smith: This should actually be a fairly intriguing matchup. We all know about Smith’s athletic potential, and it’s likely he’ll be aggressive in the post. Humphries, however, has proven to be a decent defender, and this matchup provides excellent open-letter potential if he can find a chance to reject one of Smith’s dunk attempts.