Hey, a winning streak! The Brooklyn Nets managed to win two straight games for the first time since early December with a 98-96 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. It's been almost a year since Brooklyn won three games in a row. This is the first night of a back-to-back. They're not going anywhere as they'll be back in Staples Center on Tuesday, only this time they'll be playing the Lakers.
The first opponent on this LA double play will be the Clippers. Los Angeles has been having a quality season and figure to be a tough out come playoff time. Their last game was on Friday night when they beat the Kings in Sacramento 117-107. The schedule gets tighter for LA after this. They host the Thunder on Wednesday, Atlanta on Saturday, travel to Dallas on March 7, Oklahoma City on March 9, and finally home to play the Cavs on March 13.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 10:30.
Nothing new for the Nets.
Paul Pierce did not play on Friday due to personal reasons. His status for tonight is unknown. Blake Griffin is still out recovering from his torn quadriceps and broken hand from punching a team equipment manager. Austin Rivers is still out with a broken hand but his return is seen as "imminent.".
What's going on
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
The Clips won the first game in December.
New General Manager has managed to stay busy since he came to Brooklyn. The Nets signed Sean Kilpatrick to a ten day contract. He was the top scorer in the Developmental League and hopes to make a name for himself while he's here.
The good thing about being in one city for a few days is that you get to rest up and take in the sights and sounds of where you are. For our friends Dawn and Johnson, they get to kick back, enjoy some nice weather, and take in some good events before hitting the road again.
Los Angeles made one move at the deadline. They acquired Jeff Green from Memphis in exchange for Lance Stephenson and a future draft pick. Green is a former Celtic, and Doc Rivers has shown a penchant for acquiring former C's that played under him. Let Amin Elhassan explain...
The Clippers have managed to play well in Griffin's absence. LA has gone 21-7 since Griffin last played and have outscored teams by 9.6 points per 100 possessions, third best in the league. When Griffin returns, Doc Rivers won't have much time to get him re-acclimated before the playoffs start. The Clips are probably gonna end the season as the four seed, and if all goes as expected, they'll be facing the Warriors in the Conference Semifinals. The Clippers have played them tough in both meetings this season, but came up short each time. It'll be interesting to see how Rivers makes use of Griffin and Green together, particularly when teams decide to downsize.
Brook Lopez will be facing another difficult matchup at the Center position. DeAndre Jordan is the Clippers defensive anchor and is one of the best roll men in the league. He's not someone you run plays, but he still manages to make his presence felt. DJ is second in the NBA in offensive rebounding and tied for third in double doubles. With this being the first half of a back-to-back and the Lakers centers being subpar, Brook out to see a heavy amount of minutes tonight. Posting up against Jordan may not be the greatest strategy, so it might be wise to use him in more pick and rolls than usual.
And here's an added plot twist. A Nets win would hurt their chances of avoiding a swap of second round picks this June. If the Clippers don't finish in the NBA's top five, the Nets have to swap second rounders, the difference between taking someone at No. 34 or No. 55. Right now, it's close with the Clipps holding the sixth best record in the league.
Player to watch: Chris Paul
Chris Paul has been having another fantastic season, but it feels as if we've barely noticed. Paul is fourth in assists per game, sixth in steals, sixth in Player Efficiency Rating, and fifth in Win Shares per 48 minutes. Paul's been doing all of this with Griffin out for the past two months and a suspect roster around him, but it's been completely overshadowed by Stephen Curry and the Warriors' chase for history.
The Nets point guard duo will have their hands full. Paul can break a defense down at any time and has gotten to the rim more often this year as compared to last. Brooklyn has had trouble defending the pick and roll all year, and Paul is third among all players in P&R plays as the ball handler. If the Nets defense isn't rotating properly and communicating, Paul will find the open man and make life hell on the Nets.
From the Vault
The world would be a lot better place if we got another Clippers vs Warriors playoff series.
More reading: Clips Nation
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Los Angeles Clippers Game Notes - Los Angeles Clippers
- Nets-Clippers Preview - Nicolino DiBenedetto - STATS LLC
- Joe Johnson leaves, Nets come alive - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- D-League’s top scorer getting a look with Nets - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets sign Sean Kilpatrick to 10-day contract - Peter Botte - New York Daily News
- Brooklyn Nets sign Sean Kilpatrick - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Brooklyn Nets Sign Sean Kilpatrick - Brooklyn Nets
- 48 Hours of Brooklyn Nets in 24 Seconds (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Austin Rivers' return to the Clippers appears imminent, much to Chris Paul's relief - Ben Bolch - Los Angeles Times
- Austin Rivers on track to rejoin Clippers lineup on Wednesday - Dan Woike - Orange County Register