What the hell was THAT?! After a great win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, the Brooklyn Nets took a quick trip to MSG to play the winless New York Knicks on Friday night. As it turns out, the Nets were just the thing the Knicks and they washed Brooklyn by 21 points. They ruined everyone’s Friday night.
The opponent Sunday evening will be the Denver Nuggets. In a crowded Western Conference, Denver is looking to make their move into that middle tier that can give the elites like Golden State, San Antonio and Houston a fight come playoff time. Unfortunately for them, they’ve struggled to start the year. They’re hoping that their win against the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday night will be the thing that jump starts their season. Denver gets to get a nice night of sleep after this one as they’ll stay in town to play the Knicks on Monday night as the second half of a back-to-back.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WCBS 880 AM on radio. Tip off at 6 PM (!).
DeMarre Carroll (right ankle soreness) is questionable Quincy Acy (left groin strain) is out. It appears the Knicks game was a bigger loss than we thought.
Juan Hernangomez has been out of action due to mononucleosis and he won’t be playing tonight.
Before the game
Here's something to keep an eye on. There's a major storm heading for New York that could affect your commute to and from the game. If you're heading out to Barclays, dress warmly and walk slowly.
Going into the year, I think we all expected Denver’s offense to be one of the best in the league. However, they’ve only averaged 99.4 points per 100 possessions, 22nd in the league. Ryan Blackburn of Denver Stiffs has a good breakdown of where Denver has been getting their shots from and how they can improve.
We’ll get a matchup of two lottery picks from the 2015 Draft. On one side is D’Angelo Russell. Although he went 6-10 from the field, DLo looked incredibly tentative on Friday after missing Wednesday’s game due to an ankle injury and only played 17 minutes (due to early foul trouble and the game becoming a blowout). As he gets further away from the injury, he’ll look like his usual self. On the other side is Emmanuel Mudiay. It’s been an incredibly difficult start to Mudiay’s career in Denver. He’s seen his role change each year and currently is running the second unit. If you’re looking for a positive, he’s coming off of a pretty solid game on Friday night. Maybe that will be the spark plug that gets him going.
Player to watch: Nikola Jokic
After a sparkling 2016-2017 campaign, a lot of people were ready to add him to the upper echelon of elite players. In fact, debates about Jokic and how good he was dominated Twitter all summer long. Jesse Blanchard and James Holas had a good discussion about Jokic in the summer that’s worth your time. Although he hasn’t been having a bad season, he hasn’t been as good as he was last year. He’s turning the ball over a lot more than usual, he’s getting to the free throw line a lot less, and is shooting further from the basket. Mike Malone and the rest of the Nuggets will need to find a better way to play to Jokic’s strengths so he can help push them to the playoffs.
The Nets trio of bigs will have their hands full tonight. Timofey Mozgov will be first up and he’ll look to soften Jokic up for Trrevor Booker and Jarrett Allen. Each big brings something unique to the table and if they can get Jokic working hard on defense, they’ll tire him out as the game progresses.
From the Vault
Thanks to Russell Westbrook's triple double barrage (and TylerIAm on Twitter), everyone has gotten re familiarized with Fat Lever. And with the Nuggets retiring his jersey on December 12, it’s a good time to revisit one of Fat’s greatest games.
More reading: Denver Stiffs
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Denver Nuggets Game Notes - Denver Nuggets
- Nets hope to rebound against Nuggets (Oct 29, 2017) - STATS LLC
- Allen Crabbe explains his disappearing act vs. Knicks - Greg Joyce - New York Post
- Nets know Nuggets will test their area of ‘big concern’ - Greg Joyce - New York Post
- Allen Crabbe looking for ways to get open in Nets’ offense - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nets look to make moves on their board game - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Denver Nuggets’ once-lethal offense a work in progress in early season - Gina Mizell - Denver Post
- Kickin’ it with Kiz: Why the Nuggets should think twice before trading for Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe - Mark Kisla - Denver Post
- Don’t Look Now, But the Nets Are Fun Again - Jeremy Woo - Sports Illustrated