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Nets take a trip to the desert

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NBA: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Off to the West we go. The Nets will be out of town for the next week, and before they left, they lost to the Knicks at MSG. After tonight, they'll play a Los Angeles back-to-back before wrapping things up in Oklahoma City on Friday night.

Waiting for the Nets will be the Phoenix Suns. Like the Nets, they haven’t played since Wednesday evening. But unlike the Nets, they were able to come away with a victory against the Detroit Pistons. This is the first night of a back-to-back for Phoenix. They travel to Oakland to play the Warriors on Sunday.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV with WCBS 880 AM on radio. Tip off after 9 PM.

Injuries

Isaiah Whitehead missed Wednesday's game due to a concussion. He was at Seton Hall last night to raise their Big East Championship banner, so it's a safe bet to assume he's out. Jeremy Lin is still out.

Tyson Chandler's mother passed away from cancer on Tuesday and did not play on Wednesday. Condolences to him and his family.

The game

In off-the-court news, the Nets waived Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez has been dealing with an ankle injury and was never able to establish himself with Brooklyn.

With Vasquez gone and Lin out, the Nets point guard situation is a mess. Sean Kilpatrick, Randy Foye and Yogi Ferrell will handle things at the one and this week will be hell. They've got to face Eric Bledsoe, Chris Paul, D'Angelo Russell, and Russell Westbrook before coming home to face Damian Lillard. Yikes!

With Chandler likely out, Brook Lopez should have a party on the inside. Brook's three point shoiting has gotten all the attention, but he's still a load to handle in the post. Alex Len played a season high 37 minutes on Wednesday and with the bench being a bit thin (and small), he's gonna be out there all night. Look for Brooklyn to feed Lopez early and often.

Brandon Knight has been the butt of jokes ever since DeAndre Jordan baptized him, and is currently having the worst season of his young career. Although he's averaging 11 points coming off of the bench, Knight is shooting career lows from the field (.362) and deep (.261). He still has potential, so he'll be given the opportunity to figure things out.

Player to watch: Devin Booker

Booker was the only bright spot for Phoenix last year and has kept it up this season. The 20 (!!!) year old second year player leads the team in scoring and has cut down on his turnovers compared to last year. He still has room for improvement, but the sky's the limit. From Mike Lisboa of Bright Side of the Sun:

Booker's three-point shooting hasn't been there yet, but that shouldn't stop Rondae Hollis Jefferson from doing everything to chase him off the arc. Booker can heat up quick and once he gets rolling, he can put the game out of reach. On offense, RHJ has started to take on more playmaking responsibilities and that will do wonders for his development. With Lin out and the PG position, Kenny Atkinson needs to find as manh playmakers as possible. And if RHJ continues to improve on that front, it'll add something to the offense when Lin returns. These two were taken ten picks apart in last year's draft and both of them will be integral to their teams' success. Who needs to tank, right?

From the Vault

Despite their best efforts, the Kidd Suns could never break into the upper tier of the Western Conference.

More reading: Bright Side of the Sun