So much for momentum. For the second straight game, the Brooklyn Nets fell apart late and lost their third contest in a row (all at home), this time to the Utah Jazz 95-88. The playoff race is tightening up in the Eastern Conference and the Nets are heading in the wrong direction at the worst possible time. There's still plenty of time to go before the season ends in April, but they can't afford to give away winnable games. Brooklyn is in eleventh place, 2.5 games behind Indiana.
Closing out the five game homestand with the Nets will be the New Orleans Pelicans. Even with the injuries, the Pelicans have had a great season in the ultra competitive Western Conference. This is the second night of a back-to-back for NOLA. They beat the playoff bound Milwaukee Bucks 114-103 in Milwaukee last night. New Orleans is in ninth place, one half game behind Oklahoma City.
Nothing here for the Nets other than Mirza Teletovic.
Tyreke Evans left last night's game with a sprained ankle. No word on his status as of this writing. Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday are still out of action.
What's life like for these clubs? Let's get into it:
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
The Pelicans won the first meeting in February.
People keep saying it's a bad idea, and yet Lionel Hollins continues to play Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack together. The duo has struggled all season and on Sunday, the game permanently swing in Utah's favor when they closed out the game. This pairing has not worked and it's comical that it's still being used when other options are available. Bojan Bogdanovic is one of the team's best three point shooters and has seemingly broken out of the slump he was in. I think Hollins would be wise to get him on the court with Deron.
Brook Lopez is back in the starting lineup for the Nets. Lopez scored 19 points on Sunday and most of his shot attempts were near the basket. Omer Asik will try to slow him down and force him into difficult shots in the low post. Brook took most of his shots inside of the painted area back in February, and Williams should look to continue that trend. Lopez can step out and make 18 foot jumpers, but the Nets are much more effective when he's close to the rim.
Player to watch: Anthony Davis
Yeah man. Davis has had a terrific first two seasons, and this year he's gotten even better. He's averaging almost 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks a night in 36 minutes a game. Davis can score from anywhere inside of the two point line and gets to the line a good amount. He's only made one three pointer this season. How did he do it? Let's go to the videotape:
Yeah man. The beauty of having a big man like Asik on the payroll is that it prevents Davis from having to deal with bruisers like Marc Gasol and he gets to roam more on defense. Davis is capable of defending pick and rolls and can switch onto perimeter players when needed. He has an incredibly long wingspan and can move like a guard. If he didn't miss any time, he might be getting some recognition in the MVP race. Barring something unforeseen, he won't win it this year, but he'll definitely be competing for that trophy in the near future.
Thaddeus Young is gonna get a workout tonight. Young made his first start as a Nets and played pretty well. He's someone that can rebound well and stretch the floor on offense. Having him in the starting lineup makes the Nets more versatile and prevents Joe Johnson from playing the power forward position. Mason Plumlee has seen his minutes cut again, and Cory Jefferson has seemingly taken his place in the rotation. He's more capable of scoring than Plumlee and if he continues to play well, he'll get even more minutes down the stretch.
From the Vault
One of the teams NOLA is chasing is San Antonio. With that in mind, head on back to the 2008 Western Conference semifinals and watch Chris Paul put in work.
More reading: The Bird Writes
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notesj - Brooklyn Nets
- New Orleans Pelicans Game Notes - New Orleans Pelicans
Pelicans-Nets Preview - Taylor Bechtold - STATS LLC
- Davis and Antetokounmpo post career-highs as Pelicans top Bucks - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports
- Free-falling Nets running out of answers, playoff options - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Deron Williams has no answer for Nets' latest loss but believes they'll make playoffs - Colin Stephenson - Newsday
- Masai Ujiri of Toronto Raptors on 'F--- Brooklyn' remark -- 'Ain't taking that back' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Inconsistent Nets searching for answers - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets' Alan Anderson travels long way to Nets - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets cursed by a closing slate filled with home games - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- The overused guard who’s killing an array of Nets lineups - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets Fading Along With Joe Johnson - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal