Three straight. The Brooklyn Nets snagged their third straight victory with a 107-99 decision over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon. The team is still well below .500, but they don't care about that right now as they're right on the edge of a playoff spot. This is also the first night of a back-to-back. They stay in town but head to MSG to face the Knicks on Wednesday.
The opponent this evening will be the Indiana Pacers. Like the Nets, they are right on the edge of a playoff spot. They won their last game, a 104-99 final over the Dallas Mavericks. This is the first night of a back-to-back for Indy.They go to Boston tomorrow night.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off is after 7:30.
Hand in hand
In addition to the Pacers game on Sunday, the Heat beat the Pistons and the Celtics lost to the Clippers. Last night, the Celtics beat the Hornets and the Hawks beat the Bucks. Here's a look at the updated standings, tiebreakers, etc
|own tiebreaker over Hornets and Heat, split series vs. Pacers, lead 1-0 vs. Celtics(next games are 4/3 and the last day of the season, 4/15), lead 2-1 vs. Nets (final meeting on 4/12)
|own tiebreaker over Nets and Celtics, down 2-1 to Hornets (final meeting on 4/7), lost series vs. Pacers and Bucks
|Won season series vs. Nets and Hornets, down 1-0 to Bucks, up 2-1 vs. Pacers
|own tiebreaker vs. Charlotte, lost season series with Celtics, tied with Pacers, lost season series to Miami, down 2-1 to Milwaukee
|split series with Bucks, tied with Nets, own tiebreaker vs. Hornets and Heat, down 2-1 vs. Celtics (final meeting 4/1)
|lost season series to Brooklyn and Celtics, lead 2-1 vs. Heat, lost season series vs. Pacers, won season series vs. Bucks
Thaddeus Young has missed the last two games and his status for tonight is questionable. He got up shots Monday afternoon.. Deron Williams wasn't at Monday's light practice and Lionel Hollins said he wasn't feeling well. "He was fine [Sunday]," Hollins said. "But apparently, when he went home he wasn't fine. We'll see."
Rodney Stuckey is listed as questionable. Everyone thought Paul George was coming back from the leg injury he suffered over the summer, but we won't be seeing him play tonight.
What's going on with these two? Let's get into it:
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
The Nets have yet to put together a four game winning streak this season. They've had two separate three game winning streaks this season and that's it.
Hey Brook Lopez is pretty good amirite? The big guy has been playing incredibly well recently and was named "Player of the Week" for his play last week. There's been a lot of discussion about Lionel Hollins and his relationship with Lopez, but he made sure to let everyone know that he wants him back on the team next season. Focusing back on tonight, he'll have to put together another great game against Roy Hibbert. What makes Brook so good is his ability to score on the inside. For a team that hasn't had consistent scoring options, he is one of the few they can count on to score when needed. Most of his offense in the last Indiana game came away from the rim, but the Nets ought to force feed him and get Hibbert in foul trouble.
Assuming Young misses this game, Mason Plumlee will start again. He only played 23 minutes on Sunday and we should be seeing Earl Clark and Joe Johnson take turns at the four as well. That's a problem going against a player like David West. West can draw Plumlee out to the perimeter and use his strength to overpower Clark and Johnson on the inside. Going small against the Hibbert-West tag team may not be the best strategy tonight. It's going to be interesting to see how Hollins and Frank Vogel use their lineups.
Player to watch: George Hill
Hill's not a superstar, but he's a perfectly acceptable point guard to run your offense. He spent most of the first half battling injuries but he's been 100 percent in the second half. In 19 games, he's averaging around 17 points and five assists per game on 47 percent from the field in 31 minutes a night. The absence of George and Lance Stephenson has negatively influenced the Pacers season, but having a reliable option like Hill has kept them competitive.
Deron Williams was dealing with an illness on Sunday but he should be fine tonight. He managed to play 33 minutes against the Lakers and hand out nine assists. He's not the scoring option he used to be, but if he can continue orchestrating the Nets offense, he will still be able to make solid contributions. Hill is a solid defender that can guard Williams without help and thwart off D-Will's size advantage should he decide to post up.
From the Vault
Should the Pacers make it to the playoffs, they'll more than likely face the Hawks in the first round. These teams have some history with one another.
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Indiana Pacers Game Notes - Indiana Pacers
Pacers-Nets Preview - Noey Kupchan - STATS LLC
- ‘We’ll see': Nets’ fingers crossed about Deron, Thaddeus Young - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- The tweak Nets made to wake Brook Lopez from slumber - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Brook Lopez Leads Nets in Final Playoff Push, Could Opt Out of Deal - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Nets' shooting remains clear in Vogel's mind as Pacers face key game in playoff race - Candace Buckner - Indianapolis Star