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Nets visit Detroit to face the Pistons

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing doing. The Brooklyn Nets went into Chicago on St. Patrick's Day and lost by 16 points. It was the team's fifth loss in the last six games. They get a few days off to rest before facing the Hornets in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Oh, and they were officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Waiting for the Nets will be the Detroit Pistons. Detroit has had a pretty decent season and find themselves competing for a playoff spot. This is the second night of a back-to-back. They beat the Sacramento Kings last night. After this, they've got six more games to go on their homestand.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV, WCBS 880 AM on radio. Tip off is after 7 PM.

Injuries

Nothing new for Brooklyn.

Jodie Meeks has been bothered by a foot injury for a while and we can add a shoulder injury to his troubles. It's unlikely he suits up tonight.

The game

Check it

2015-2016

Brooklyn

Detroit

Record

19-49 35-34

Pace

96.95 97.72

Offensive Efficiency

100.9 102.9

Defensive Efficiency

107.3 103.4

Turnover Rate

15.3 13.8

Assist Rate

17 14.6

Offensive Rebounding Rate

23.8 27.1

Rebound Rate

49.3 52

Free Throw Rate

24.1 29.3

Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.4 49.1

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

52.8 50.5

The Nets won the first meeting in November while the Pistons won the second meeting in January and third one in February.

Sean Marks has made another move. After signing Sean Kilpatrick out of the Developmental League at the end of February, he rewarded Kilpatrick with a three year contract prior to Thursday's game against the Bulls. In eight games this month, he's been averaging 13.4 points on 49.3 percent shooting from the field, 47.1 percent shooting from three point range, and 94.4 percent from the free throw line in 21.5 minutes off the bench a night. It's good to see players come up from the D-League and succeed in the NBA.

Brook Lopez didn't do much of anything against the Bulls and now has to face one of the best big men in the league. Andre Drummond leads the NBA in rebounding and is one of the best roll men in the league. Drummond isn't a big that can do much damage in the low post, but he's still able to wreak havoc on offense and is the best o-rebounder in the league. There's a very good chance Brooklyn goes to the hacking strategy, and unless Drummond becomes a good free throw shooter (or there's a rule change), it's a tactic we'll continue to see deployed against the Pistons. Sigh.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been assigned to the league's better perimeter scorers and will be responsible for slowing down the red hot Bojan Bogdnaovic. Bojan followed up his career high 44 point game with a more than impressive 26 points (on 10-17 shooting from the field) and five assists against the Bulls on Thursday. As the Nets continue evaluating who will have what role on the club next year, Bogdanovic will be one of the people we should keep an eye on. Wing scoring is always in demand, and if Bogdanovic is able to show that he is someone that can be counted on to provide consistent production, maybe the Nets will use their resources elsewhere.

Player to watch: Tobias Harris

The Pistons acquired Harris from the Orlando Magic at the deadline in exchange for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova. Since the trade, Harris has averaged around 17 points and six rebounds on 49.7 percent shooting from the field and 38.9 percent from three point range in 33.5 minutes a night. He is part of a young nucleus that includes Drummond, KCP and Jackson. As that group develops and the roster around them improves, the Pistons will be able to compete for a playoff spot every year. In an article at The Cauldron over the summer, Andrew Adams made the following observation:

At his age, Harris still has plenty of time to take his game to the next level — at both ends of the floor. Sure, there’s always the possibility that Harris’ marked improvement from the perimeter last season was an aberration — which, if coupled with continued neglect at the defensive end, could make him nothing more than an inefficient ball-stopper.

At the same time, there’s merit in teams attacking free agency with the idea of paying players for future output, not past accomplishments. And with the salary cap set to rise even more over the next few seasons — the product of a new multi-billion dollar television partnership — the Magic will likely be able to look back at their $60 million gamble as a worthwhile one. (Harris’ projected $14.4 million salary will eat up 21 percent of the Magic’s cap space next year, assuming the league-mandated cap holds at the projected $67.1 million, but with that figure expected to rise to $81.6 million for the 2016–17 season, his salary will occupy considerably less of Orlando’s largesse.)

Sucks for the Magic.

Thaddeus Young will be the one matched up with Harris tonight. Harris has a pretty weak reputation on defense so Young should be even more active than usual at the start of the game. The Nets don't run many plays for Thad, but he's been able to contribute offensively with a mix of good offensive rebounding and his highly effective floaters. Thad's minutes have gone down the past few games, but with a few days off before their next game, he should play at least 35 minutes if the game is close throughout.

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