Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The Nets were able to squeak out a 103-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night and thankfully didn’t lose at home to one of the worst teams in the NBA. They were down throughout much of the night but put together a nice stretch late in the game and got to the winner’s circle, thanks to a Brook Lopez hook in the lane in the final seconds. Tonight they close out their five-game home stand against the Memphis Grizzlies at The Rock. 

Here are some things to keep an eye on tonight:

Stopping Rudy Gay. For those of you that weren’t paying attention, the Grizzlies’ best player hit a game-winner against the Raptors on Monday night. He is clearly the guy Memphis goes to when the game is on the line and the question tonight will be who is going to stop him? We know the Nets are not very strong at the small forward position (I’m looking at you Travis Outlaw) so it will critical to stop the former UConn star if the Nets are going to win this game.

Bench Production. Avery Johnson made some news yesterday by saying that Anthony Morrow will continue to come off the bench for the time-being. I don’t mind it because I know he’s going to play the most important minutes anyway. The bench as a whole has continued to be effective, and whenever you can get three different bench players in double figures, like the Nets did Monday night, you’re going to be successful.

Who Takes the Big Shot? Against the Cavs the clear answer to this question was Brook Lopez. I mentioned earlier this season that the Nets should look to their center (and best player) when the game is on the line and by doing so Monday night, they were able to get a W. Tonight if the game comes down to the final seconds, I’ll be interested to see if the Nets do the same thing or go elsewhere.