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Sinking Nets come home to play Trail Blazers

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"Go cop my mixtape dropping tomorrow!!!!!"
"Go cop my mixtape dropping tomorrow!!!!!"
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

UpdateMonday night's game has been postponed. It has yet to be rescheduled.

Indifference is the absolute worst feeling that can surround a team. No emotion, no energy, and worse, no interest. That is where we currently find the Brooklyn Nets. After almost blowing a big lead in Sacramento, the Nets got lit up on national TV against the Clippers. You'd think the next game following a 39 point BEATEMDOWN would be more competitive right? Nah. They lost by 35 points to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. And thanks to the Charlotte Hornets beating the New York Knicks, Brooklyn finds themselves on the outside looking in of the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

Making the trip into Brooklyn will be the Northwest Division leading Portland Trail Blazers. They're having an excellent season and are half a game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the second seed in the Western Conference playoff standings. They used a late run to come from behind and beat the Washington Wizards at home on Saturday night. This is the first night of a four game road trip that will take the Blazers to Cleveland, Atlanta, and Milwaukee this week.

Of course, it all depends on the weather, with a blizzard bearing down on New York.

Where to follow the game

YES Network has got you covered on television and WFAN 101.9 FM is the place to be on the radio. Tip off is scheduled for after 7:30.

Injuries

Still no Deron Williams for the Nets. Joe Johnson revealed after the Utah game that he has been playing with tendinitis in his right knee and left ankle for the past month and a half.

We've got a lot going on for the Blazers. LaMarcus Aldridge tore a ligament in his left thumb Thursday against the Boston Celtics. He was expected to undergo surgery and miss six to eight weeks. However, Aldridge decided against surgery (for now) and will gut it out for the rest of the season and playoffs. Whew, got all of that because we aren't done yet. Robin Lopez broke his hand back in December and hasn't played since. Joel Freeland strained his shoulder in early January and has been out of action ever since. Nicolas Batum aggravated a lingering right wrist injury (he's been playing with a torn ligament for the past month) against Boston on Thursday and didn't play on Saturday. It's very unlikely he plays tonight.

The game

What's happening? Let's get into it:

2014-2015 Season

Brooklyn Portland

Record

18-26 32-13

Pace

94.34 96.83

Offensive Efficiency

99.2 104.9

Defensive Efficiency

103.7 99.4

Turnover Rate

15.3 14

Assist Rate

16.3 17.1

Offensive Rebounding Rate

22.8 24.2

Rebounding Rate

48.8 50.2

Free Throw Rate

27.1 22.7

Effective Field Goal Percentage

48.4 50.4

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

50.2 46.6

The Blazers won the first meeting back in November.

The Nets have lost their last six games at the Barclays Center.

In trade news, the Nets and Charlotte Hornets are in talks to swap Joe Johnson for Lance Stephenson, Marvin Williams and Gerald Henderson. Nothing has been made official but as always, keep up with the site and we'll have you covered.

Even with the bad hand, Aldridge had a good game against a good Washington team. LMA led all scorers with 26 points and also collected nine rebounds in 36 minutes. The thumb injury is on his non-shooting hand and he should be able to play his regular amount of minutes. He might be best served taking the All Star Game off though. For this game, Kevin Garnett will be matched up with him to start off. Garnett is an old pro and should be able to make life difficult for Aldridge. Hand's part of the ball after all. The majority of LMA's offense comes from the high post area so he should be able to create some separation between himself and KG with his jumper.

Johnson's injuries have really taken away from his game. He's only shooting 36.2 percent this month and hasn't been able to fill the void left by Williams' injury. It's commendable that he's been trying to play through his injuries, but things haven't worked out. With Batum out, Allen Crabbe will start. He only played seven minutes on Saturday and got pulled due to ineffectiveness. Assuming that happens again, we'll see a lot of Dorrell Wright. He's got enough length to counteract Johnson should he post up and can stretch the floor with his three point shooting.

Player to watch: Damian Lillard

The first time the Nets saw Lillard, he was having a good season but there were still a few questions about Dame's play. That night, he scored 28 points and made four three pointers in the win. Since that game, he's averaged 22.4 points a night on 43.3 percent shooting from the field. Lillard can get to the rim and convert at a high rate, but can make teams pay from deep. If this game manages to be close late, Lillard will be the focal point of the Trailblazer attack.

The Jarrett Jack point guard run continues here. He's more of a scoring point guard and will look to put pressure on the probable All Star on the offensive end. He's best suited coming off the bench, but until Williams gets back, Brooklyn is stuck with him in this role.

From the Vault

The early 1990s were a rough time period for the Blazers. They lost to Detroit in the 1990 NBA Finals and got upset by the LA Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. In Game Six of the 1992 Finals, they had a big lead going into the fourth and a chance to force a Game Seven. Unfortunately for them, disaster struck and the championship window shut on Clyde Drexler and the rest of that group.

More reading: Blazer's Edge