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Nets continue road trip vs Pelicans

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"I came to get down, I came to get down, so get out your seat and jump around"
"I came to get down, I came to get down, so get out your seat and jump around"
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Two straight. So far, the Nets have looked pretty great coming out of the All Star break. They won their second game of this season long road trip on Monday night, dismantling the Denver Nuggets by a final score of 110-82. They are currently in the eighth position in the Eastern Conference, one half game behind the Miami Heat (really 1.5 considering the Heat have won the season series) and one full game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets.

Waiting for them will be the New Orleans Pelicans. In a jam packed conference, the Pelicans have managed to hold their own. They've won their last two games, including Monday's contest against Toronto. NOLA is two games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and one half game ahead of the Phoenix Suns.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on the TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on the radio. Tip off is a bit after 8:00 PM eastern.

Injuries

Bojan Bogdanovic is out due to ankle injury. Jarrett Jack is back and will be coming off the bench.

Old friend Ryan Anderson will be out a couple of weeks due to a right knee sprain. Starting point guard Jrue Holiday is out with a leg injury. And most importantly, MVP candidate Anthony Davis is out a few weeks with a shoulder injury.

The game

What's the story here? Let's get into it:

2014-2015 Season

Brooklyn New Orleans

Record

23-31 29-27

Pace

94.33 93.95

Offensive Efficiency

100.5 105.5

Defensive Efficiency

104.2 105.6

Turnover Rate

15 13.9

Assist Rate

16.4 16.8

Offensive Rebounding Rate

23.5 28.3

Rebounding Rate

48.8 51.6

Free Throw Rate

27 27

Effective Field Goal Percentage

48.8 49.4

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.9 50.1

Thomas Robinson won't be with the Nets after all. He appeared to be on his way to the Nets, but at the last minute, the Philadelphia 76ers claimed him off of waivers.

Ask and you shall receive! If you've been on this site (or Twitter) for any amount of time, you've seen people beg for Markel Brown to get in the rotation. Monday night in Denver, Brown made his first start of the season. He only shot 4-12 but that doesn't really matter. He led the team in rebounding and was a spark in his 45 minutes of game time. With Bogdanovic out, he'll get even more opportunity to impress fans and the coaching staff. On the other side stands Eric Gordon. It feels like ages ago when he was considered to be a player on the rise and was the centerpiece of the Chris Paul trade (the second one). He was never able to replace CP3, but at least he's shooting a career best 41.9 percent from three point range this year.

The extended break has wonders for Deron Williams. Two games in, he looks incredibly spry and has been doing a marvelous job of setting his teammates up. He's handed out 27 assists in the two games back and should hand out some more here. Even when he was struggling a while back, he still made the offense go. He hasn't shot well in the two games, but you'll take the double-doubles every time. The book on Tyreke Evans is basically the same as it's always been: play off of him and let him shoot jumpers. Even when he does get to the rim, 'reke is shooting a career low 53.8 percent from three feet and in. He's good in other facets of the game so it will be up to him to set Gordon and the rest of his teammates up throughout the night.

Player to watch: Omer Asik

Asik isn't much in terms of scoring, so defense and rebounding is the name of his game. He is third in the Association in total rebounding percentage, scooping 21 percent of the available rebounds when he's on the court. Having Asik control the glass has allowed Anthony Davis to roam freely on defense. When they're on the court together, NOLA is only allowing 100 points per 100 possessions, one of the team's best marks. The Nets don't really drive to the rim that often, so Asik can focus on cleaning the glass.

It's gonna take a group effort to keep Asik off the glass. Mason Plumlee will draw the first assignment and while he's an athletic young big, Asik figures to control the inside. Once Plumlee comes out, Brook Lopez will be next up. The Plumlee-Lopez tag team was a failed experiment and the team wisely appears to be going away from it. As long as Lopez is getting shot attempts close to the rim and drawing fouls, he'll continue to excel in his bench role. Asik holds opponents to 49.1 percent at the rim on eight shot attempts a game, so the Nets ought to feed Lopez early and often once he gets in.

From the Vault

Ride on back to 2011 and see Chris Paul go to work against the Lakers.

More reading: The Bird Writes