The Nets keep on streaking. Unfortunately for them, their streak has them at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn lost their fourth straight game on Monday night, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks at home 103-96. They're 0-4 and starting next week, the schedule will get even tougher.
The opponent this evening will be the Atlanta Hawks. After a bad opening night loss at home to the Pistons, the team has settled in and have won their last four games. This is the second night of a back-to-back for ATL. They beat the Heat in Miami last night.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on television. WFAN 101.9 on the radio. Tip off is after 8 PM.
The Nets are at full strength other than their two long-term injuries: Chris McCullough and Willie Reed, both of whom are due back in another month or two..
The Hawks are good, but Kyle Korver might end up getting the night off as he continues to find his footing after undergoing offseason surgery. Thabo Sefolosha sat out last night's game and his status for tonight isn't known.
This is a rematch of last season's first round matchup that the Hawks won 4-2. Both teams are looking a bit different from that series. Brooklyn let Deron Williams go and some of their other rotation players left town. The Hawks lost Demarre Carroll to the Raptors and Pero Antic to Europe, but replaced them with Tiago Splitter, Tim Hardaway, and a healthy (or healthy enough) Thabo Sefolosha. The Wizards are the early favorites to win the Southeast Division, but the Hawks will give them (and the Heat) a good battle for the title.
Brooklyn has decided to place Markel Brown in the starting lineup, and he'll get to spend his evening chasing Kyle Korver (assuming he plays). It's been a slow start for KK, as he's only shooting 43 percent from the field and shockingly, 25 percent from three point range. When he's playing well, he runs defenders ragged through a series of screens and is almost automatic when left open from three point range. Brooklyn's defense has been one of the worst in the league this year, and Mike Budenholzer's offense can generate a lot of good looks for his players. Having a player like Brown in the starting lineup will help the defense as well as give Lionel Hollins an extended opportunity to watch how he does against some of the better perimeter players
The inside game ought to be fun. Brook Lopez and Al Horford have a lot of similarities. They're the best players on their teams, can score in the post, step out to the high post and make jumpers from there, and are both capable rebounders. Brooklyn plays at the second slowest pace in the NBA, so their strategy should focus on getting Lopez the ball as much as possible. Lopez is shooting 60 percent from the field, but has only led the team in field goal attempts once.
Player to watch: Dennis Schroder
Schroder is the backup, but he's looking for a bigger role. Right before the season started, there was a report that he would be looking to join a new team this summer if he didn't end up in the starting lineup. The Hawks picked up his option the next day, so they have some time to get things settled before they have to make a decision.
Over at Peachtree Hoops, Brad Rowland wrote:
It will be very interesting to see what the Hawks can extract from Schröder in his third season. Given Teague's presence, there is a certain ceiling on Schröder's minutes, but Mike Budenholzer does have the ability to play both point guards together in the backcourt, and that should help in giving the young point guard room to grow. Decision time is approaching and, hopefully, Schröder will perform in a way that puts pressure on the organization to at least conjure debate between the two point guards.
Like Mike Conley last week, Schroder is someone Nets fans on here have been discussing as a solution to the team's point guard woes. When you look at his resumé and his age, you can understand why Brooklyn fans have their eye on him. He's only 22 years old, has improved each year he's been in the league, has shown himself to be a solid point guard, and is on a team friendly contract. He can stand to improve his shot from three point range, and if he's able to do that, he'll end up being a starter sooner rather than later.
Schroder will be backing up All Star Jeff Teague, but he'll still see a good amount of action tonight. On the other side, Jarrett Jack and Shane Larkin will run the point for Brooklyn. The Nets have been isolating a lot on offense and unsurprisingly, they're fourth worst at generating offense from those sets. It'll be up to them to keep the ball moving and get some good looks for their teammates. Also, it'll help if Jack doesn't lead the team in shot attempts again.
From the Vault
Friday is the twentieth anniversary of Goodie Mob's debut album, "Soul Food." Start from "Free" and spend some time listening to the entire album.
More reading: Peachtree Hoops
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes -- Brooklyn Nets
- Atlanta Hawks Game Notes - Atlanta Hawks
- Nets-Hawks Preview - Yahoo Sports - Nicolino Benedetto - STATS LLC
- Why the present — and future — look bleak for Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Brook Lopez: How my brother nearly missed a Series game - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets center peels back layers on his life - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Brooklyn Nets' Brook Lopez talks everything except basketball - Colin Stephenson - Newsday
Nets’ Demise Can Be Traced To Their ‘Play After The Play - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN
- Bucks provide model for Nets, Hollis-Jefferson - Greg Hrinya - Examiner
- Bucks provide model for Nets, Hollis-Jefferson - Chris Vivlamore - Atlanta Journal-Constitution