Things aren't getting better. The Nets were unable to break their losing streak and lost their sixth straight game, this time to the previously winless Los Angeles Lakers, 104-98. They're 0-6 and the schedule is only going to get harder from here. This is the second night of a back-to-back and the first of a quick four game road trip. They get a few days off after this game before playing in Houston on Wednesday night.
Joining the Nets this evening will be the Milwaukee Bucks. After losing their first three games, the Bucks are turning things around. They won their third straight game after beating the Knicks in MSG last night. This is the second night of a back-to-back. After this, they take a few days off before hosting the Celtics at home.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off is after 8:30.
The Nets are all good on the injury front.
Michael Carter-Williams missed the game last night due to an ankle injury. His status for tonight's game is unknown. OJ Mayo is still dealing with a hamstring injury and will more than likely not make his season debut this evening.
The Bucks won the first meeting earlier this week.
It's been a while since we've seen Jabari Parker. He was having a nice rookie season before he missed the rest of the year after tearing his ACL in December of 2014. He made his return on Wednesday night and had an impressive dunk in last night's game. One of the challenges when returning from a serious injury is how you handle the second night of a back-to-back. His minutes crept up from game one to two, so it'll be interesting to see how he does if he plays.
I know Nets fans are down on Billy King and upper management, but it appears that they've been pushing for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to play more minutes. After playing only 11 minutes vs the Hawks, he was on the court for 25 minutes vs the Lakers, including 8:34 in the fourth quarter. The more RHJ plays, the more he gives the fan base a reason to have some hope for the future. With the team in dire straits and a lack of good options on the bench, Hollis-Jefferson should be crossing the 30 minute threshold pretty soon. He can't be worse than anybody else on the bench. He should spend a lot of time guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis is a diverse talent that can influence the game in a lot of ways. For RHJ, his goal should be to limit Giannis' attempts near the basket. Antetokounmpo's jumper isn't consistent yet, so forcing him into taking difficult shots from the perimeter will be a success for him and the Brooklyn defense.
Assuming MCW sits again, the trio of Jerryd Bayless, Tyler Ennis, and Greivis Vasquez will handle point guard duties for Milwaukee. Bayless and Vasquez provide more shooting than MCW and they can provide different options for the Bucks offense when they're As usual with the Nets, things don't go well when Jarrett Jack is leading your team in field goal attempts. He took a game high (yeah, even more than Kobe Bryant) 22 shots, but only made eight of them. That can't happen and he needs to distribute the ball more.
Player to watch: Greg Monroe
Monroe was the major acquisition the Bucks made over the summer and he's expected to be their anchor on the inside. He can score in a variety of ways and with the team expected to be a solid playoff contender, is expected to help them win their first playoff series since 2001. Here's what he told Sports Illustrated's Rohan Nadkami:
"I’m very comfortable here," Monroe told SI.com before the game. "I was comfortable in Detroit also, but I like the team we have here. With the different people we have, the versatility, I’m interested to see how good we could become."
After facing Robin Lopez last night, Monroe will be facing Brook this evening. Lopez led last night's game in scoring, but only hit one shot outside of the restricted area. He's a good shooter all over the court, so if his jumper is working, he can draw Monroe away from the basket. Moose isn't the greatest interior defender, so the Nets strategy should revolve around him a bit more than usual. When Monroe sits, John Henson will get some turns defending Lopez. He made his return last night after dealing with an Achilles injury that kept him out a few games. He scored a game high 22 points and grabbed five rebounds in only 23:15 of action against the Knicks last night. With him just coming back and this being the second leg of a b2b, his minutes might be closely monitored.
From the Vault
Earlier this week, HBO aired a documentary on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called "Minority of One." It was really good and I'd recommend it to those who haven't seen it yet. With that in mind, take a trip back to 1971 and watch Kareem (then Lew Alcindor) and Oscar Robertson try to win their first NBA Championship.
More reading: Brew Hoop