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Nets look to get their first win of the season vs. Spurs

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

We're off and running. The Brooklyn Nets opened up the 2015-2016 campaign with a game against the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't overcome an early deficit and lost 115-100. This is the first night of a back-to-back for Brooklyn. Once this game wraps up, they'll head over to Memphis and play the Grizzlies on Halloween night.

Waiting for the Nets will be the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs played a tight, back-and-forth game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but lost 112-106. This is their home opener but more importantly, Pounding the Rock night! If you're in San Antonio, head out to AT&T Center and watch the game with some incredibly smart folks and have some fun.

Where to follow the game

YES Network has you covered on TV and WFAN 101.9 FM has the radio call. Tip off is set for after 8:30 PM.


Jarrett Jack missed Wednesday's game but did practice yesterday. His status for tonight is currently up in the air.

Nothing here for the Spurs.

The game

Simply put, if you don't make three pointers, you won't win games. The Nets were shut out from three point range while Chicago made 13 of their attempts from deep.

Next to the Warriors, the Spurs have the most pristine offense in the league. They create so many good looks for each other and move incredibly well off the ball. If you're a defender and you miss an assignment, it's gonna cost you three points almost every time. The Nets figure to be one of the worst defensive teams in the league this season, they might consider playing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson more. The rookie had a nice showing against the Bulls on Wednesday night and was arguably their best player coming off of the bench. It's a "bridge year" for the Nets,so why not let RHJ run wild?

When the Spurs need to isolate, it pays to have Kawhi Leonard. Leonard's game has been rapidly developing ever since the Spurs got him in exchange for George Hill in the 2011 Draft. Since then, he's become a better scorer and is one of the best defenders in the league. He's San Antonio's number one option and is coming off a career high 32 points while holding 2014 MVP Kevin Durant to only 6-19 from the field. Joe Johnson had a bad night vs. the Bulls, and it won't get any easier with Leonard guarding him tonight. If you're looking for a positive from Johnson's game against the Bulls, he did take 11 shots inside the painted area. If he can get the same shots tonight, maybe they'll fall for him.

Andrea Bargnani actually had a good game with the second unit, but because I'm a proponent of jokes, I couldn't NOT post this:

Sometimes you gotta laugh.

Player to watch: Lamarcus Aldridge

LMA was the big name on the free agent market this past off-season and surprised a bunch of us by signing a four year, $80 million contract with San Antonio. Aldridge didn't have the best game against the Thunder, but his skills should shine throughout his tenure in San Antonio. He's a skilled scorer in the high post, works well in the low block, and can carry the offense for an extended period. With the way the Spurs are set up, he won't need to, but it's nice to have that skill just in case.

Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young will be tasked with holding things down in the front court for Brooklyn. Lopez led all scorers with 26 points on 17 shot attempts, but you could argue that he should have been featured even more on offense. For the Nets to win a tough game like this, they're going to need to feed Lopez constantly. He's almost automatic in the low post, and there's a good chance he's going to start throwing up three pointers soon as well. Defensively, he's going to need to have a better showing here. He and Thaddeus Young will try to deny Aldridge and Tim Duncan good position in the post and control the glass. Rebounding is always an essential part of a team's gameplan, and if they can win that category, they can help Brooklyn control the pace of the game.

Also, take a look at ATT Center, the Spurs venerable arena underwent $100 million worth of renovations this summer.

From the Vault

In 1988, there was a panic about the lack of dominant big men in the NBA. Sports Illustrated ran a big feature bemoaning the "end" of NBA centers and featured quotes and insights from various people in and around the league. This section in particular stands out:

Or, it could be Robinson. Can he be an officer, a gentleman and an era? NBA people aren't exactly bubbly about his chances. Says Detroit general manager McCloskey, ''He hasn't demonstrated up to now that he's got what the great ones had.'' And here's a scouting report on Robinson courtesy of Rick Mahorn, the Pistons' bullyboy power forward: ''They talk about this Robinson kid, but he looks to be a finesse player who runs the floor. He's nothing like Wilt was or even like Akeem is now.'' Better polish up that hard hat, Ensign.

With that in mind, head back to 1990 and watch a rookie David Robinson take on Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets.

More reading: Pounding The Rock