New year, same Nets.
After a blowout at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, the Brooklyn Nets will look to avoid starting 2014 like they started the season: like hair clogging a shower drain– miserable and gross. It’s not a great image, but, hey, watching the Nets play basketball this season hasn’t been pretty either.
Tonight, they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder– or, as I like to call them: the Oklahoma Westbrook-less-team-that-is-still-a-million-times-better-than-the-Nets City Thunder. In case you’ve missed out on the continuously deteriorating season that belongs to Brooklyn, Garnett recently said he didn’t know where he fit into the offense and Deron Williams confirmed that he’s playing hurt again.
I wonder what Mikhail Prokhorov chose for his New Year’s Resolution, any thoughts? Comment below!
The BK Game Crew breaks down the impending blowout!
1. Last game, we wondered how Deron Williams would match-up with Tony Parker– and, well, the results speak for themselves. Tonight, Williams gets Reggie Jackson– does it get better? Does it get worse? What’s going on with DWill?
Ben Nadeau: I don’t really know– maybe it’s time to get another injection? Is he sad? Is he embarrassed? Those things usually motivate players to compete at a higher level. But thus far, the Brooklyn Nets have not answered the call. It begins and ends with Williams and, unfortunately, I don’t expect anything from him anymore.
Justin DeFeo: There are reports coming today that Williams might be a bit banged up, which is something of an explanation for the lackluster and uninspired play we’ve seen from Deron over the last few games. I sense something deeper, but historically Deron’s play falls off a cliff when he’s hurt, so there may be some credence to that. Either way, Reggie Jackson attacks, so they’ll need Williams to offer up more than he has been..otherwise I’d suspect more of the same and another opposing point guard outplaying him.
Will Rausch: I do think D-Will has a chance on the hardwood against a 67 year old Hall of Fame baseball player. Oh, it’s not THAT Reggie Jackson? It’s the up and coming backup point guard for the team tied for the best record in the NBA? The one some think will go on to stardom once he gets to start full-time elsewhere a la James Harden? In that case, things get worse for D-Will. The Thunder are coming off a loss and have only lost back-to-back games once this season, so things don’t look good for D-Will and co. As for what’s wrong with D-Will, it’s the injuries, sure, but I’m starting to think it is as much a problem to be addressed by Dr.Freud as it is one for Dr. James Andrews.
2. How many points will Kevin Durant drop tonight and why?
Ben Nadeau: 60. Devin wrote about this season clearly being the Darkest Timeline, so, things can always get worse. With nobody great bodying the man that has destroyed every defensive matchup he’s faced, Durant will go off tonight. Is a little bit of history in the making? How many people have goatees on OKC?
Justin DeFeo: This could be a special night for Durant as the Nets are rarely qualified to relenting scoring bunches: a team which appears to be quitting, on the road and with the only person on the roster even close to capable of guarding Durant effectively (Andrei Kirilenko) restricted to just 12 minutes. The only thing threatening to stop Durant from a 40+ point night would be Durant being forced to the bench due to lopsidedness…which is sadly very much in play.
Will Rausch: 40 because YOPN-TAY (You Only Play the Nets Twice A Year). KD has dropped 30+ in the last three games without Westbrook and Durant has averaged more points per game on Thursday (28.80) and January (28.0), than any other day or month, respectively, in his career. Again, things don’t look good for the Nets.
3. What do you expect out of Mirza Teletovic tonight with Serge Ibaka on him?
Ben Nadeau: On the perimeter, Mirza *should* have the advantage– but in this topsy-turvy season, nothing that is supposed to happen happens. So, I’m guess that Mirza will pick up two early fouls trying to guard Ibaka on the other end and we’ll see a little flurry of threes in the second half, but that’ll be that and Brooklyn will have already lost the game. I’m so happy about things these days.
Justin DeFeo: I expect Mirza to continue staying aggressive with a mix of long range shooting and attacks to the rim. I’m more concerned about how he’ll deal with Ibaka’s size and athleticism on the other end of the floor..if he has to spend time guarding him.
Will Rausch: It’s not so much what I expect out of Mirza tonight as what I expect in to Teletovic; as in, balls blocked in his face by Serge Iblocka. That’s not to demean Mirza’s turnaround this season from his virtually anonymous rookie season. The Bosnian big already has ten more points in 24 games this season than he did in 53 all of last year, but again, things don’t look good for the Nets tonight, and Mirza going up against one of the best defensive bigs in the game is part of that inauspicious outlook.
Ben Nadeau: Thunder 120, Nets 80, Kevin Durant 70.
Justin DeFeo: Thunder 115, Nets 95
Will Rausch: Thunder a lot, Nets not a lot