Brooklyn Nets begin road trip with a stop in Detroit

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

YES Network put it all in perspective with a graphic laying out just how long the Nets road trip will be. It only missed one relevant stat: one circus. That's why the Nets are on the road. Barclays Center will be the domain of elephants and clowns (Don't go there). Here are the numbers, borrowed from the graphic...

8 cities
17 days
10 flights
4 time zones
8,229 miles
8 games
6 practices
5 shootarounds
44 bus trips.

Of course, the Nets do return home after the 13th day, spend two days in their own beds and then as a reward fly to Cleveland and back to New York. So, it's either 17 days without a home game or 13 days without a comfortable bed.

The trip begins Monday night in Detroit where the Pistons await. The Pistons, to put it kindly, are struggling. They have lost eight straight and 11 of the last 12. Lawrence Frank is the coach, but there are rumblings he may not survive. True, he hasn't been dealt a good hand, with a young team. And that hand has had a few cards removed, with injuries to Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight, who may be back against the Nets.

They're in the NBA bottom five in a number of rankings: assist-to-turnover ratio; free throw percentage; three point attempts, among other things. They collapse in the middle of the game, particularly in the third. Their only real strength is points in the paint, where they rank third at 45.9 points per game. A lot of that is due to Greg Monroe's solid play, coming into the game averaging 15.9 and 9.5 along with 3.3 assists. But they miss Drummond.

The Nets have beat the Pistons twice, but both games were close, with one ending on a Joe Johnson buzzer-beater. The Nets will be in the same boat Monday as they were Sunday regarding the division. A combination of a Nets win over Detroit and a Knick loss to Utah, later in the evening, would put the Nets in a virtual tie for the Atlantic Division lead ... and put the Nets closer to the playoffs. The magic number after the Raptors loss to the Heat is still three.

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