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Nets hope to take Game 6 in Brooklyn

"Lookin' like I came to play Mitchell and Ness"
"Lookin' like I came to play Mitchell and Ness"
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

One game away. In Game Five of this competitive series, the Atlanta Hawks pulled away late and came away with a 107-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. If the Nets win, they'll head back to Atlanta for a Game Seven on Sunday. If they lose, the season is over. Simple enough right?

Where to follow the game

The Yankees and Red Sox will spend all night playing on YES Network and WFAN 101.9 FM, so catch the Nets on My9, ESPN and WCBS 880 AM.

Hand in hand

Brooklyn is the center of the playoff universe this evening as this is the only NBA game on the docket.


Everybody that can play will be out there. Thabo Sefolosha is still out of action. The NYPD roughed him in April and on Wednesday, they roughed up protesters in Union Square.

The game

What's the series been like? Let's get into it:


Brooklyn Atlanta


2-3 3-2


95.35 95.35

Offensive Efficiency

102 101.6

Defensive Efficiency

101.6 102

Turnover Rate

14.7 13.8

Assist Rate

17.2 18

Offensive Rebounding Rate

21.5 23.6

Rebounding Rate

49.3 50.7

Free Throw Rate

24.4 21.3

Effective Field Goal Percentage

50.2 49

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

49 50.2

One thing that has been consistent throughout this series is the turnover battle. The team that has committed the least turnovers each night has won the game. The defenses for both teams have done well, so if you can generate turnovers and create easy scoring opportunities in transition, you'll give yourself an advantage.

Bad Deron Williams showed up in Game Five. After his 35 point, seven three pointer explosion in Game Four, Williams had a sub-par followup. He only scored eight points and handed out six assists in 32 minutes. It might be much to expect an amazing performance again from D-Will at this point, but he ought to be able to give a better showing with the season on the line. Brooklyn's strategy of goading Jeff Teague into jumpers didn't work out this time as he hit three shots from downtown. Most of his shots in Game Five came in the paint and if he can continue getting to the rim, the Hawks will finish Brooklyn. Teague's backup Dennis Schroder has played terribly and if the game is close throughout, his minutes will be scarce. Schroder has potential to be a solid contributor in the future, but with this series being as close as it is, he's got to be perfect in order to get minutes over Teague.

With all hands on deck, there isn't any room for error. With that said, look for Joe Johnson and Williams to get a quick hook if they start slow. Alan Anderson and Jarrett Jack were the best players on the court for the Nets and led Brooklyn in scoring. Jack has outplayed Williams throughout the series and has been reliable in late game situations. Anderson has provided solid shooting with terrific defense and is someone the Nets can use to defend Kyle Korver. After going cold in Games Two through Four, Korver came back with five three pointers on Wednesday night. Atlanta's offense thrives on great ball movement and motion, so making sure someone is on top of Korver throughout is priority one.

DeMarre Carroll has been Atlanta's most reliable player this series. Carroll scored a game high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 42 minutes. Like with Teague, Carroll's backup (Kent Bazemore) has struggled in this series and saw his minutes drop in Game Five. His scoring is what brings the headlines, but he's done a great job of defending Joe Johnson during the five games. Johnson did manage to cross the 40 percent threshold from the field last time out so maybe it's a sign he's in store for a big game.

Player to watch: Al Horford

The three time All Star has been less than 100 percent in this series. He hurt his right index finger in Game One but has played through the injury. In Game Five, Horford scored 20 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and handed out five assists in 34 minutes. Horford and Teague had a lot of success in the pick and roll, and it managed to throw the Nets off on many an occasion. Over at the mothership, Pounding the Rock's Jesus Gomez perfectly explained why Horford is so important to the ATL:

The approach the Hawks take on offense often hides it, but Horford is their most important piece of the puzzle. He can score inside and out, nails mid-range jumpers with fantastic efficiency and is the closest thing they have to a traditional defensive anchor. Without him coming back healthy after missing most of last season, the Hawks would not have made the leap they made this year.

Brook Lopez finally had a bad playoff game. He only made four of his 13 attempts and grabbed a season low three rebounds in his 38 minutes on the court. The Hawks have had to counter Lionel Hollins' adjustments throughout the series and Hollins will need to come up with some new ways to get Lopez the ball in good scoring position. The combination of feeding Lopez off the pick and roll and straight post ups have worked for the most part, so Brooklyn will do well to keep feeding Lopez the ball. Mason Plumlee is a terrible free throw shooter and any time he's on the court, you run the risk of Mike Budenholzer instructing his players to intentionally foul and send Plumlee to the line. Assuming this game is close, Plumlee won't see many minutes.

From the Vault

Down 3-2 coming back to Brooklyn? The Nets have been here before.

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