Game On! The team and referees are in town. The snow has changed to rain.
It was only a matter of time. The Brooklyn Nets hosted the Knicks on Biggie Night Sunday evening and sought to get a win over their crosstown neighbors. They were able to do that and most importantly, snapped a 16 game home losing streak. It was the team’s first home win of 2017. You take the good news where you can get it.
Making their way through the snow to Barclays Center tonight will be the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder have exceeded expectations and are a sure bet to make the playoffs again this season. They beat the Jazz at home on Sunday. They're currently sixth in the West and five games behind the Jazz for fourth place.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.
Still no Joe Harris. It’s not just the concussion. Harris suffered a shoulder sprain as well.
Taj Gibson hurt himself on Sunday, and there’s no word on his availability for tonight.,
The Thunder won the first meeting back in November.
The Thunder made a few changes at the trade deadline. They acquired Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Cameron Payne and former Net Anthony Morrow. Taj took the place of Domantas Sabonis in the starting lineup on Thursday, but since he's injured, the rookie figures to be back in the starting lineup.
Yeah buddy. Russell Westbrook has been having one of the best seasons in NBA history and is one of the favorites to win the MVP. His game is nonstop energy and he will drive at you every time he has the ball. Although he’s only shooting 42 percent from the field, he makes up for it by getting to the free throw line almost 45 percent of the time he has the ball. He got a triple double the first time he saw the Nets and it’s a good bet he gets another one tonight. Jeremy Lin has gradually upped his minutes each game since returning, and now will face his toughest test of the season.
Caris Levert and Victor Oladipo should be a fun matchup. Although his shooting percentages have increased for the third consecutive year, Dipo is getting to the free throw line at the lowest rate of his career. His role has changed some now that he's no longer in Orlando, but there's still ways he can be utilized more effectively within the offense. As for Levert, he's coming off of a near perfect game on Sunday. He went 4-4 from the field, 2-2 from deep, and 3-4 from the foul line. Caris has been having a good debut season and the more he plays, the more fans will take to his game.
Player to watch: Enes Kanter
If not for breaking his hand on a chair, Kanter might have been the favorite to win Sixth Man of the Year. He's averaging 14 points on 55.6 percent shooting, but the rebounding is where he's most valuable. Thanks to Russ being Russ, you need big men that can crash the offensive glass. Although his current offensive rebounding rate is the lowest it's been since his final days in Utah (remember he forced his way out of town), Kanter is still collecting 14 percent of the O-boards available when he's in the game. He'll never be mistaken for Hakeem Olajuwon on defense, but if he can continue to excel on offense, Billy Donovan and the Thunder will live with his shortcomings.
Brook Lopez is hoping to keep the party going after Sunday's excellent showing. He returned from an ankle injury and dropped six threes in the win against the Knicks. He is now shooting 34.8 percent from three this year, which is pretty impressive for a player that is brand new to shooting from deep. I think he's still most effective in the post, but his shooting fits well within the flow of the offense so I can't complain too much.
From the Vault
It’s snowing outside and since we’re officially in March Madness, let’s watch Russ at UCLA.
More reading: Welcome to Loud City
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Oklahoma City Thunder Game Notes - Oklahoma City Thunder
- Preview: Thunder vs. Nets - Yahoo! Sports
- Thunder look to beat Nets, storm - STATS LLC
- How Caris LeVert went from injury liability to Nets stalwart - Ryan Lazo - New York Post
- Nets eager to test recent success against OKC, Russell Westbrook - Brian Heyman - Newsday