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After Pelican fiasco, Nets return home to face ... The Warriors!

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Golden State Warriors John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

It’s difficult to put the frustration following that loss to the Pelicans into words. Not only would that have been such a great win, but the collapse in the final 20 seconds — including the bizarre Ed Davis forearm shove huddle fiasco — was like watching a train wreck in very slow motion. Heartbreaking.

But, all we can do is move on, and that’s exactly what the Nets will try to do on Sunday back home in the Barclays. Plus, the Warriors are coming to town. No time to dwell on Anthony Davis when Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are knocking on your door.

This will be the reigning back-to-back champions’ only trip to Barclays center this season and it will almost certainly be a fun one. Either the Nets surprise the league and hang with the Warriors and maybe even steal a win, or the Warriors do their thing and we all get to watch the team of a generation fire on all cylinders. Could be worse. There’s no shame in losing to what might be the greatest basketball team ever assembled and it would be awesome if the Nets won, it’s a win-win! Let’s get into it.

Where To Follow The Game

YES and WCBS Radio 880 will have this one at 5 p.m, ET. The early bird special on a Sunday night. Love it.

And for our overseas fans, you can find the game on these channels!

Injuries

DeMarre Carroll (ankle surgery) and Treveon Graham (hamstring strain) are still out. So is Rodions Kurucs (ankle sprain) after being re-evaluated this weekend. It was supposed to be a “little” ankle sprain but this will be the rookie’s third missed game. Kenneth Faried was dealing with an illness Friday and did not play, but he’s not listed on the injury report.

For Golden State, Andre Iguodala (left calf tightness) and Shaun Livingston (right foot soreness) are questionable. DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles rehab) has started to practice but isn’t scrimmaging 5-on-5 much less playing.

The Game

The Nets, as horrifying as the final few minutes were, looked pretty damn good in New Orleans. Not only were they able to contain Anthony Davis on defense (his lowest scoring output yet this season), but the offense was humming along and at times looked legitimately explosive. The backcourt was especially fun, as Caris Levert, D’Angelo Russell, and Shabazz Napier all had big games. They were in fact the team’s three leading scorers. They’re going to need to build on that to have any chance against Golden State.

Overall, here are some fun facts cited by Greg Logan of Newsday on just how effective the Nets were...

Davis had only 18 points, 12 below his average, on 6 of 19 shooting. Power forward Nikola Mirotic, who came in averaging 28.0 points per game, was a minor factor with 10. The Nets also outrebounded the Pelicans, 54-46, and at the offensive end, they hit 47.5 percent from three-point range (19 of 40).

The Warriors, 5-1, are going to be a tough match-up. That needs almost no explanation. They’re essentially the same team from the last two seasons, and in a few weeks, will have DeMarcus Cousins. Until then, he’ll be talking trash from the sidelines racking up technicals as he did the other night vs. the Knicks.

Their most significant development so far has been that Steph Curry just seems to be going for it this season. Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Napier are going to be dealing with a opposing point guard who’s putting up 33.7 points per game while shooting 55% from the field and 52% from three. The man scored 51 points in 3 quarters against the Wizards this week. I haven’t even mentioned Kevin Durant who put up 41 against the Knicks in the Garden, 25 in the fourth (not that that’s a tough task, but still).

If the Warriors have an exploitable weakness, other than their usual regular season apathy —being bored by winning all the time— it’s at the 5 where Damian Jones and Jordan Bell see the bulk of the minutes. Those guys aren’t bad, and Bell especially seems like he might carve out a really nice career as a springy, versatile defensive specialist, but neither of them are All-Stars unlike the other four Golden State starters (and their ultimate replacement, Cousins). If Jarrett Allen (and Ed Davis?) can put up some big numbers early, it might collapse the defense just enough to the point where Joe Harris and Allen Crabbe and Levert can see some open shots.

As for the mental aspect of the game after the game, Russell perhaps put it best...

“We play Sunday. That’s the best thing about it. We lost this one. We play Sunday. Get over it.”

Meanwhile, the Warriors are loosey-goosey. Witness this send-up of Fergie’s rendition of the National Anthem from last year’s NBA All-Star Game.

It started when Fergie’s ex-husband Josh Duhamel told FOX Sports that Draymond Green had been a “prick” for dissing her unique styling back in February. Green then organized the remix and recorded the Warriors’ response. Curry and Green then posted the video to Instagram, both with the hashtag “#fergieremixchallenge.”

They.don’t.care.

Player To Watch

Klay Thompson, the quiet “Splash Brother,” is due for a big game. It’s kind of terrifying actually. He hasn’t scored 20 points yet in a contest this season, and knowing Klay we could blink and all of a sudden he’s putting up 35 in a half. He can do that and has. It’s been tougher for him to get consistent shots with Steph playing in God Mode and Durant being Durant, but Klay is only shooting 12% from three so far this season (Not a typo). He is absolutely going to break out of that funk eventually, and it could very well be at the Barclays Center. We’ll see.

From The Vault

The Nets are featured at the 12:45 mark of this video, but some of the other ones are fun too. Hope everyone has a nice Sunday, enjoy!

For a different perspective, go to https://www.goldenstateofmind.com/