Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The New Jersey Nets take on the Los Angeles Clippers tonight in the Prudential Center, looking for their fourth consecutive win. Here are a few keys to the game:

Post Play Will be a Factor: With Deron Williams still out for the Nets and Eric Gordon out for the Clippers, both teams will miss their best perimeter player. Consequently, expect much of the game’s focus to be on the inside, where Blake Griffin and Brook Lopez will likely get a ton of touches. The three-headed monster of Griffin/DeAndre Jordan/Chris Kaman is insatiable on the boards, so I wouldn’t be looking out for another double-double for Lopez tonight, though.

Closing Out on Three-Point Shooters: Having watched many Clippers games this season, they get a lot of open three-point looks thanks to the attention Griffin commands in the post. If they didn’t miss a lot of open shots, they’d have a much better record right now. With that said, the Nets need to work on closing out on shooters like Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, and Al-Farouq Aminu, so they can’t put together large runs with outside shooting.

Winning at Home and Seizing the Second Half: The Clippers and Nets have both been dismal on the road this season, so the Nets have the upper hand going in even after the Clippers’ shocking win over the Celtics in Boston on Wednesday. Furthermore, the Clippers have been dreadful in the second half this year, and they almost always blow their leads at some point; Wednesday’s game was no exception. Therefore, if the Nets get down early, they need to stay persistent, as a comeback is always possible with the Clippers.