Pregame Open Thread: New Jersey Nets vs. New Orleans Hornets

The Nets take on the New Orleans Hornets tonight at 7 PM eastern at home in the Prudential Center. Here are a few keys to the game:

Getting Lucky: The Hornets have been one of the NBA’s most inconstent teams this season. They started out hot, then they slumped, and now they’re getting back to playoff-caliber basketball. For the Nets, it is best for them just to hope that they catch the Hornets on one of their down nights, as the matchup doesn’t look too favorable for New Jersey from a straight-up standpoint.

Brook Lopez’s success: Brook Lopez has looked very good on the offensive end of late, but Emeka Okafor is one of his traditionally tough defensive matchups. With his size and length, he often forces Lopez to areas on the floor from which he can’t get quality looks. It will be fun to see whether Lopez can reconcile his recent offensive boon with Okafor’s staunch defensive efforts tonight.

Devin Harris, the Distributor: Very few people would have ever called Devin Harris a pass-first point guard before this season. Lo and behold, he’s passing more and shooting less. Unfortunately, Harris hasn’t had as much success with the Nets as the last point guard that came to New Jersey and tried that, but it seems like an advancement in his game nonetheless. Let’s see how he stacks up tonight against the league’s best point guard.