Over the next few games, the Nets will have an opportunity to prove whether they are legitimate playoff contenders in the woeful Eastern Conference. In spite of their 2-9 start, they are only a game and a half behind the eighth place Bucks and tied with the spiraling Knicks at 7-13. Just behind them are the Raptors at 6-14. The Nets, with five wins in the last 10 are doing as well as any team in the bottom half of the East.
The Nets catch another break Sunday with Andrea Bargnani (calf) out indefinitely for the Raptors. Perhaps Jose Calderon will be distracted by trade rumors. DeMar DeRozan? He's been in a shooting slump.While the Nets are surging, Toronto is only 2-8 over the last 10. Linas Kleiza will get the start at PF and look for Jerryd Bayless to get minutes in the backcourt as well.
The big question for the Nets is health ... again. Team officials seem confident MarShon Brooks' achilles problem is more about minutes than structural issues. If he plays, it will be sparingly. No word on Mehmet Okur's recurring back spasms or Shelden Williams' sore wrist or DeShawn Stevenson's balky knee. To fill in, Jordan Williams has been recalled from Springfield. Deron Williams is healthy and with his 49.3% shooting last week, he's gotten his season shooting percentages up to 40% overall and 35% from deep.
- New Jersey Nets Game Notes - New Jersey Nets
Toronto Raptors Game Notes - Toronto Raptors
- Getting Inside - New Jersey Nets - Sports Xchange
- Getting Inside - Toronto Raptors - Sports Xchange
- Raptors-Nets Preview - Noey Kupchan - Stats LLC
- Nets' Shelden Williams provides toughness, despite sometimes going unnoticed - Colin Stephenson - Star-Ledger
- Deron’s play leading to Nets’ gain - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Shelden gets call when going’s tough - Fred Kerber - New York Post
Kris Humpries proving NBA GM's wrong while providing Nets with inside presence - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Kris Humphries earns his keep - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets at Cleveland — tonight Andy Vasquez - The Record
- J-Will back from Springfield? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
Extended road trip gives Toronto Raptors plenty to think about - Doug Smith - Toronto Star
3 in the Key - Raptors' Game-Day Preview vs Nets - Sean Tepper - Raptors HQ