That went well. After losing three straight games, the Brooklyn Nets returned home on Sunday to play the disappointing Detroit Pistons. Brooklyn was able to stop the losing with a 110-105 victory. At 11-15, the Nets find themselves in the eighth position in the Eastern Conference standings.
Making the trip to Brooklyn this evening will be the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have had a pretty poor season all things considered, and are coming off of a 28 point loss on the road to Charlotte on Monday. The Nuggets are currently tied for the eleventh position in the Western Conference with Sacramento, but it's highly unlikely the Nuggets get into the playoffs.
Where to follow the game
For the television watchers, YES Network has got you covered. On the radio side, with the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Panthers occupying WFAN's time (side note: check out sister sites In Lou We Trust and Canes Country for coverage on that game), WCBS 880 AM will give you what you need. Tip off is scheduled for a bit after 7:30 PM.
It's unlikely Brook Lopez makes his return from his back injury while Deron Williams is questionable with a calf injury.
For Denver, Danilo Gallinari will be out for the next month with a right knee meniscus tear. Ty Lawson has been dealing with tightness in his lower back, but he did play in Charlotte. Darrell Arthur has missed the last two games with a leg injury and is doubtful.
What's up? Let's find out:
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
The Cleveland Cavaliers came calling about Lopez, but it's incredibly unlikely they are able to acquire him. The big news in the rumor department is Deron Williams possibly going to the Sacramento Kings. More on that trade and all of its parts here.
Lawson is one of the quickest point guards in the league. He's able to put a lot of pressure on opposing teams by driving to the basket 13 times a game, highest in the league. Unfortunately for Nuggets fans, Lawson has continued a troubling trend. His field goal percentage has decreased every season he's been in the league and he is at a career worst 40.5 percent from the floor. Lawson has made up for his poor shooting by being one of the league's best passers. He's third in the league in assists, averaging ten a night. Although he's shooting 29.9 percent from three point range, he does have the potential to get incredibly from deep. He once made nine three pointers in a game. Assuming Williams is out again, Jarrett Jack will start at the point. Jack had his best game in ages on Sunday, scoring 15 points and handing out ten of Brooklyn's season 29 assists. When Lawson goes out, Net nemesis Nate Robinson will look to pick up the slack. The Nuggets are almost nine points per 100 possessions worse when Nate is on the court.
The Aaron Afflalo and Joe Johnson matchup should be intriguing. AAA has been one of the league's better perimeter defenders throughout his career, but this season the Nuggets have been better when he is off the court. Johnson should look to post up Afflalo. On shots ten feet and closer, opponents are shooting above 60 percent from the field against Afflalo, well above the league average. Johnson has been the person to rely on for the Nets offensively, and even if Williams and Lopez appear, things should continue running through Johnson.
Player to watch: Kenneth Faried
After a good summer with the United States Men's National Team, Faried returned home to sign a four year, $50 million contract extension. So far at least, the success in international competition hasn't carried over to the NBA game. Like Lawson, Faried has seen his shooting take a tumble. And when we take a look at where Faried is taking his shots, we see that he's a little bit further from the rim than he is comfortable with. Over at Denver Stiffs, Nate Timmons writes:
On the other side will be his summertime teammate Mason Plumlee. Plumlee has been on a terrific run lately, picking up three double doubles in the seven games he has started since Lopez has been out. Like Faried, Plumlee is energetic and takes most of his shots near the rim. The swirling trade rumors didn't have an effect against the Pistons, and it probably won't here. As the season progresses and trade talks begin to intensify, it's going to be worth keeping a close eye on how Mason plays.
From the Vault
Throughout the month, we've been discussing athletes that have taken stands on social issues. One of those athletes was former Nugget Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. Head back to 1995 and watch him give Jason Kidd the business.
More reading: Denver Stiffs
- Brooklyn Nets: Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Denver Nuggets: Game Notes - Denver Nuggets
- Nuggets-Nets Preview - Kevin Chroust - STATS LLC
- The case for keeping Brook Lopez out of the starting lineup - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets rewind: Mason Plumlee’s odd confidence pays off - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
Brook Lopez finally back — but way out of shape - Howie Kussoy - New York Post
- Lopez will play whatever role Hollins wants - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
Nets’ Brook Lopez Practices With Team - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal