After one of the more frustrating losses of the season, the Nets drove up the Turnpike and home Monday night knowing they have to another team with a losing record and young legs in the Hornets.
The Hornets are 22-42, sixth worst in the league, but they have a young roster with players like ex-Net Ryan Anderson, rookie of the year candidate Anthony Davis, Robin Lopez, Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez. They all should be available. Gordon has been on a restriction that limits him to one game per back-to-back. He didn't play Sunday but should be ready Tuesday.
The Hornets, who are changing their name to Pelicans, have lost seven of their last 11, but then again, the Sixers had lost 11 of their lost 12 and five in a row before the Nets arrived in Philadelphia and stunk up the joint. Luckily for the Nets, offense has not been the Hornets' strong suit.
"I'm way more concerned with our defense than our offense right now," P.J. Carlesimo said. "We weren't good offensively, but 97 points on the road should be enough to win a game."
It wasn't. The Nets will have to find a way to solve Anderson, Gordon and Davis. Anderson won the game for the Hornets Sunday vs. the Trail Blazers, hitting the winning shot. He finished with 20 points and 13 boards (4 of 9 from long range) and now leads the team in scoring with a 16.7 average, just ahead of Gordon's 16.t. Anthony Davis is averaging 12.9 and 7.8 but 17.0 points and 12.3 boards in four games since the last time the two teams met, when Deron Williams scored 33 back two weeks ago. Both Anderson and Davis played poorly vs. the Nets in that game.
Williams and Joe Johnson played a combined 77 minutes vs. Philly. Even though the Nets have four days off after Tuesday's game, it's hard to imagine them matching those numbers vs. New Orleans, particularly with Johnson's heel still giving him trouble. After Carlesimo said he expected to give MarShon Brooks minutes on Monday, he wound up playing only two. The Mirza Teletovic experiment continued to have mixed results. In the past four games, he's played 75 minutes, scoring only 15 points on 5-of-22 shooting (22.7 percent) including 3-of-11 from downtown (27.2 percent). He has garnered 19 rebounds and six assists and turned the ball over twice.