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Nets play host to the Hornets

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More of the same. The Brooklyn Nets went into Detroit to face the Pistons on Saturday night and ended up losing 115-103. The NCAA Tournament is done at Barclays Center, so the Nets will be back in town for a few days.

Coming into Brooklyn will be the Charlotte Hornets. This is the second night of a back-to-back, and it'll be completely understandable if they suffer a letdown tonight. They were down 28-7 after one quarter to the San Antonio Spurs last night, but managed to come all the way back and win 91-88 in front of the home fans. Without looking it up, I'd say it was their best win since becoming the Hornets again.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Brook Lopez was under the weather and didn't play on Saturday. He should be good to go. The big news is the possible return of Rondae Hollis Jefferson. RHJ has been out with an ankle injury since December and has been making practicing over the past few weeks.

Nothing doing for the Hornets.

The game

Everybody listen up I got a story to tell

2015-2016

Brooklyn

Charlotte

Record

19-50 40-30

Pace

96.91

Offensive Efficiency

101.1 104.3

Defensive Efficiency

107.5 101.7

Turnover Rate

15.2 13

Assist Rate

17.1 16.5

Offensive Rebounding Rate

23.7 20.3

Rebound Rate

49.3 49.7

Free Throw Rate

24.1 28.2

Effective Field Goal Percentage

49.4 49.8

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

52.8 49.7

Charlotte won game one in November and game two in February.

Bojan Bogdanovic has been playing great over the past few weeks, and the next four games will be a big test for him. He'll be matched up with Nicolas Batum tonight, LeBron James on Thursday, Paul George on Saturday, and Joe Johnson on Monday. If Bogdanovic is able to play well, it will give Nets fans and management a lot of confidence in him as they head into what figures to be a crucial off-season in the team's history. With no more room for mistakes, Brooklyn needs every sure bet they can find.

Kemba Walker has been in a bit of a shooting slump. The former UConn guard is shooting 35.8 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from three point range over the last five games. Walker is at his best when he's breaking the defense down and driving to the rim. For Donald Sloan and Shane Larkin, keeping Walker on the perimeter and forcing him into tough jumpers will be their best course of action.

Al Jefferson may not be the player he once was, but he still manages to contribute when he can. Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky will see the majority of the minutes at center, and it'll be interesting to see how long Lopez plays tonight. The Nets know what they have in Lopez, aren't really playing for anything, and still need to see what Willie Reed can do in extended minutes.

Player to watch: Jeremy Lin

The free agent to be is coming off of his best game of the season last night. Lin scored a game high 29 points and made all four of his three point attempts in 31 minutes off the bench. It's been a bumpy ride for Lin, and I think this passage from a Howard Megdal article in November best sums things up:

There is a narrative arc for Jeremy Lin's career that would explain his 25-game eruption into superstardom back in 2011-12 as a blip of extraordinary luck in an otherwise middling career; by this telling, he's been overhyped and underperforming ever since. Then there is reality, which is that Lin has performed admirably and capably in the worst of circumstances—that, when given the chance to play his game, he is very much more like the player he appeared to be during Linsanity's heady peak than he had looked in its falling action.

Teams are always in need of guards that can come off the bench, and I know of two teams around here that can use some help.

One of the players to watch as the Nets wind the year down is Sean Kilpatrick. He's been a pleasant surprise since he joined the club and is the team's best perimeter option after Bogdanovic. As RHJ works his way back into form, I think it would be nice to reward Kilpatrick for his solid play and insert him into the starting lineup.

From the Vault

I was reading Paul Flannery's "Sunday Shootaround" column at the mothership and came across this New York Times article on former Hornets guard Baron Davis. The entire article is worth checking out, and this quote about Baron's expectations in the D-League stood out:

"It strips you down, and if you really want to do it, then you’ll humble yourself and you’ll participate on a level that you’re supposed to be on. And for me, right now, this is the level that I’m supposed to be on."

I hope we get to see Baron back up in the league soon.

More reading: At The Hive