The Nets are happy to be leaving Orlando to say the least. The weather is nice and Brook Lopez loves Disney World, but the Amway Center crowd witnessed a slaughter Tuesday night. The Nets were victims, losing to the Magic 139-105, it was domination from start to finish in a game where Brooklyn rested Thaddeus Young and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Brooklyn' will want to forget it about quickly and there won't be much time to dwell on it. An angry LeBron James is on the radar. The Nets stunned the Cavaliers last Thursday with a 104-95 win at Barclays Center. Through three quarters, James had 30 points, in the fourth quarter he had zero.
To make the situation even tougher for the Nets, Cleveland is coming off a loss to the Rockets on Tuesday in which they led by 20 early in the third quarter. They rested James assuming they could sneak out a win against a struggling Rockets team, but Houston rallied to stun the Cavs in their home building.
So the Cavs and LeBron will surely be frustrated and will want to take it out on the Nets who have dropped two games in a row. Brooklyn isn't playing to clinch the first seed in the Eastern Conference like Cleveland is, but as Tony Brown put it, "job security" is on the line for many Nets players.
Where to follow the game?
Yes Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:00 PM.
The Nets are good to go besides Jarrett Jack who's out for the season with a torn ACL, but Tony Brown will rest Brook Lopez and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson vs. Cleveland. The Nets are playing four games in five nights, including Friday night vs. the Knicks (and Brook's twin).
Cleveland has no injuries and are expected to have a fully healthy roster for tonight's game.
Offensive Rebounding Rate
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Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
On November 28th, Cleveland took down the Nets 90-88 on a LeBron James game winning hook shot.
On January 20th, Cleveland defeated Brooklyn 91-78 and last Thursday, Brooklyn defeated Cleveland 104-95. Cleveland leads the season series 2-1 over the Nets.
Player to watch: LeBron James
LeBron James can't be happy right now. If losing to the Nets didn't fire him up enough last week, James will be extra hungry after watching them blow a 20 point lead on Tuesday. This video shows how James is probably feeling right now.
LeBron might be a tad bit frustrated https://t.co/QdtDIcWbTO— Sqor Sports (@Sqor) March 25, 2016
James will be well-rested after not playing in Tuesday's game versus the Rockets. In last weeks game against the Nets, James may have suffered fatigue.late. James was outscored by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 8-0 in the fourth quarter.
James is averaging 24.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5 assists per game while shooting 60 percent from the field versus Brooklyn this year. On the season as a whole, James is averaging 25 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. Apparently, James is also coaching the Cavs now?
Lebron coaching the Cavs lol https://t.co/4JtkWpUB2i— The Motivator (@TheMotivator5) March 30, 2016
Nets X-Factor: Bojan Bogdanovic
Bojan Bogdanovic has been on a tear lately. Similar to last season, Bogdanovic started the season off slowly and has picked it up late in the season. In his last 10 games, Bogdanovic is averaging 18.6 points while shooting 50 percent from the field.
It's a Thursday game which seems to be Bogdanovic's favorite day of the week. In 4 Thursday games this year, Bogdanovic is scoring 18 points per game, shooting 51 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. Bogdanovic has been on fire lately, his best game of the season and his career happened earlier this month against the 76ers.
Bogdanovic was in the zone that night, he tied his idol Drazen Petrovic's career high in points and he helped his team get a win.
Bogdanovic has the ability to heat up and the offensive numbers are improved, but he will likely have the difficult task of going up against LeBron James tonight. James is not only difficult to stop on the offensive end, but he's a great defender as well.
Bogdanovic will have his work cut out for him against James who has been named to the NBA All Defensive First-Team five times throughout his career. Brooklyn will need Bogdanovic to have an impact to get another win versus the Cavs.
Cavaliers X-Factor: Kevin Love
Cleveland needs Kevin Love to start playing like the All-star they thought they had traded for if they have any hopes of competing for a championship. Love has had a good season statistically, but Cleveland expected much more out of him when they traded away Andrew Wiggins to acquire him.
On the season, Love is averaging 15.8 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range.
In last week's game versus Brooklyn, Love scored 11 points, on 15 shots and he missed all five of his three-point field goal attempts. LeBron can't do everything. Love needs to help him out and take the next step and be more aggressive.
From the vault
We'll go back to 1992, Nets versus Cavaliers game 1 of the playoffs, a man by the name of Drazen Petrovic was on fire. Petrovic was known for his great three-point shooting, but in this game he scored 40 points without making a single three-pointer.
Think about how impressive that is, 40 points without making a single three-pointer. This game showed Petrovic's brilliance and was one of the best games of his career.
For more on the Cavaliers, read Fear the Sword.
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Cleveland Cavaliers Game Notes - Cleveland Cavaliers
- Nets-Cavaliers Preview - Kevin Massoth - STATS LLC
- Cavaliers pile on dysfunction — and this is a Finals favorite? - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Do the Cleveland Cavaliers have the mental and defensive toughness to get back to The Finals? - Terry Pluto - Clevelan Plain-Dealer
- Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets - March 31, 2016 - Cleveland Cavaliers
- LeBron James continues climb up scoring list - Mitch Adams - ESPN