Nothing doing in LA. The Nets played the second half of a Los Angeles back-to-back on Tuesday night against the Lakers. They were unable to come away with an LA split and lost by six points to the Lakers. This is the first night of a back-to-back for Brooklyn. They're in Minneapolis to play the Wolves tomorrow.
The next opponent on the trip will be the Denver Nuggets. Denver will be missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season and will be looking to evaluate their roster for next season. Their last game was a 117-107 win over the Lakers on Wednesday night.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV, WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. We're in a different time zone, so the game will be starting around 9 PM Eastern time.
Nothing new for the Nets.
Danilo Gallinari was diagnosed with torn ligaments in his right ankle on Tuesday and will be out of action for a while.
Check the numbers:
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
The Nets won the first game on a Joe Johnson buzzer beater.
Aside from watching the development of their players, Nuggets fans should be keeping a close eye on some other teams across the NBA. Andrew Feinstein breaks down the particulars here.
Kenneth Faried has been playing fantastically over the past month. Since February 1, Faried has averaged 13 points and almost eight rebounds on 66 percent shooting in 24 minutes a game. Almost all of his offense comes close to the basket as he scores over a point a possession as the roll man in P&R sets and is sixth in the league in offensive rebounding. If He continues to play well, maybe Denver won't make another runat Blake Griffin.
Things are typically unstable for players on ten day contracts. They only have a few weeks to make an impression on their current team's management before they either get a contract for the rest of the season or are let go. Sean Kilpatrick knows this feeling. He was on the Nuggets roster last month but was unable to stick around after his second ten day contract. The Nets like him so far, and with Sean Marks being a proponent of using ten day contracts, he might be able to stay with Brooklyn on a long term basis.
Jusuf Nurkic hasn't played since February 21. He's not on the injury report, so it's safe to assume he's been benched. The centers in Denver's rotation, Nikola Jokic and Joffrey Lauvergne, will have their hands full with Brook Lopez. Lopez had a good game against Denver the first time out, and now that more of the offense is running through him, he ought to have a big night. Tony Brown might need to watch his minutes though as the Nets will be facing budding superstar Karl Anthony Towns tomorrow night. That should be a great matchup.
Player to watch: Emmanuel Mudiay
The Nets saw a lottery pick on Tuesday night, and tonight they'll see another one at the point guard position. Like Russell, Mudiay has had his struggles in his debut season, but he has shown some improvement as the year has progressed. He's cut down on the turnovers as the season has gone on and is shooting a little better from three point range. That said, he's only 34.2 percent from the field overall and 27 percent from downtown. Zack Mikash of Denver Stiffs has more:
I think he’s slightly improved. There is still a lot of work to be done. He’s gotten better at finishing at the rim but still is pretty poor. I think what’s been encouraging is that he seems to be playing within himself more. We’re not seeing as many turnovers and we’re not seeing as many contested step back jumpers. Honestly I have such a hard time reading Mudiay, his shooting numbers are abysmal but he flashes some of that transcendent talent almost every game. It’s hard to find a precedent for a guy like Mudiay, John Wall, who seems to be the player many draw Mudiay comparisons to, was a far better shooter in his rookie year and produced at a higher clip. I really am hoping to see Mudiay close out the season very strong, otherwise it might be time for Nuggets fans to start tempering their expectations for him a bit.
Every day provides Donald Sloan and Shane Larkin an opportunity to impress Marks and the Nets brass. They've filled in admirably since Jarrett Jack suffered a knee injury in January, but they've been overmatched for the most part over the past two months.
From the Vault
Earlier this week, Phil Jackson caused a bit of a stir when he compared Stephen Curry to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. There was a lot of derision sent Jackson's way, but we shouldn't forget that Abdul-Rauf was a solid player for the Nuggets.
More reading: Denver Stiffs