A winning team arrives at Barclays Center to play the Brooklyn Nets

Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Who plays, and who doesn't , will go a long way toward determining who wins.

The Nets have a perfect record, 14-0, against teams with sub-.500 records, only 7-15 against teams with more wins than losses. Other than the 17-point win against the Thunder to start the Nets' five-game win streak, all of their recent success under P.J. Carlesimo has come against losing clubs. Until Friday night, they have been healthy over the stretch over the stretch.

Now with at least one player down and two others uncertain, they will face the Pacers, who not only are above .500 (22-14), they are hot. They're 8-2 over the last ten and have won three straight, even without Danny Granger. Defense has been key to their success. In fact, the game will match January's top defensive team, Indiana at 82.7 points given up, against the month's top offensive team, Brooklyn, at 109.2 points scored.

The Pacers have been led, in Granger's absence, by hyper-athletic Paul George, who's proving he's a complete player not just a dunker. Whether he's able to play won't be known until Sunday. He's out vs. the Bobcats Saturday with the flu. He hopes to join the team in Brooklyn. They still have the ever-reliable David West who just keeps chugging along, racking up a triple double vs. the Bobcats. It seems he always kills the Nets. Roy Hibbert, who's not done well this season, will be looking to match wits and max contract numbers with Brook Lopez.

For the second straight game, the Nets will be facing a Brooklyn legend looking to make a big impression, Like Sebastian Telfair, Coney Island's Lance Stephenson is finally getting his game up to the level of this athleticism. Then there's Gerald Green, who will want to show the Nets that they should have kept (paid) him. He's not done as well in a Pacer uniform as he did in a New Jersey Nets jersey.

The Pacers will be on the back end of a home-and-away back-to-back, having beat the Bobcats at home Saturday night. Sunday's game starts at 6 p.m. and will feature "A Night of Russian Culture." The game will be broadcast live on Russian TV, one of 12 games this season for the NBA's only European-owned team.

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