USA TODAY Sports
Like lambs to the slaughter, sub-.500 teams have been feasts for the Nets. They haven't lost vs. teams with sub-.500 records and the Phoenix Suns more than qualify as willing carrion. They have lost 10 of their last 11, including four in a row. They're a miserable 2-16 on the road, including ELEVEN straight, their worst away losing streak in 29 years.
It's not the old Suns team, the seven seconds or less offense. It is a team fraught with problems in rebounding and paint defense, getting to the line and three point shooting. Now they're riven by rumors as well, the latest is that they're trying to trade for Rudy Gay (which is not likely to be completed by game time Friday night). The Grizzlies reportedly want Jared Dudley in return.
For the Nets it's another opportunity. Of their six wins under P.J. Carlesimo, four have been blowouts, with margins of victory between 16 and 20 points. The only close games came against the two worst teams they've played in that stretch, the Cavaliers and Wizards. Jerry Stackhouse is out with a sore hamstring, the latest in a series of nagging injuries for the 38-year-old. Mirza Teletovic and Joe Johnson are both sick and are game-time decision. Deron Williams was given the day off Thursday, in line with Carlesimo's plan to manage his time.
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