In the NBA.com power rankings, the Nets are No. 5. They would have been higher if they had beaten No. 1, the Heat. Now, they have a chance to move up higher if they can beat No. 4, the Thunder. The Thunder will make their first visit to Barclays Center Tuesday in yet another nationally televised game, this one on NBA TV.
The Thunder is a bit different from last year, after trading James Harden to the Rockets, but they still have two of last season's Big Three, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, both all-stars, both teammates of Deron Williams on the Team USA gold medal winners. and averaging a combined 47 points a game. Formidable. They've won five straight, are tied for second in the West and have a road record of 5-2. They average 105 points a game, which leads the league, and are second in offensive efficiency. On defense, they're tenth in points allowed and seventh in defensive efficiency.
And oh yeah, Westbrook is on a roll and not just on offense. As Schuhmann points out, "opposing point guards Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lin, Mo Williams and Greivis Vasquez combined for just 24 points on 9-for-31 shooting against OKC last week." With D-Will banged up and admitting to a crisis of confidence in his shooting, this will be the key match-up, although watching Gerald Wallace and Durant should be fun.
For the Nets, Brook Lopez is almost certainly out and may miss Friday's game vs. the Warriors as well. Toko Shengelia is likely to join him in a suit jacket Tuesday. Aside from Williams, the Nets will need a lot from Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche. It is likely going to be a big test of the Nets' defense and pace.
The game also marks the official end of MarShon Brooks' rookie "year." The Nets have now played 16 games. Add that to last season's 66 and you get to 82, a full season. Now, will he play?
- Brooklyn Nets Tickets - TiqIQ
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Oklahoma City Thunder Game Notes - Oklahoma City Thunder
- Thunder at Nets - December 4, 2012 - STATS
Avery Johnson Interview - Dec. 3 (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets’ Avery Johnson Is Named East Coach of the Month - Howard Beck - New York Times
- Brooklyn Nets' Brook Lopez day to day as MRI on foot negative - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Lopez skips Nets practice, has MRI on right foot - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Deron has to face shooting slump, Westbrook - Howie Kussoy - New York Post
- Bogans biggest reason Brooks has seen drop in Nets' playing time - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets welcome another top scorer in Thunder's Kevin Durant - Rod Boone - Newsday
- MarShon, Done with Rookie Duty (Video) - NBA.com
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook is 'locked in' - Darnell Mayberry - Daily Oklahoman