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Nets back at Barclays to play Clippers on Coogi Night in Brooklyn

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Well, wasn’t that fun? The Nets went to our nation’s capital Friday night in between home games and swallowed the Wizards whole. John Wall and Bradley Beal disappeared in the great maw that was D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie. The two scored a combined 48 points, shooting 18-of-29 (Thats’ 62.1 percent) while also going to the line 17 times, handing out 14 assists (to only five turnovers) and tallying five steals.

Now that that’s done, let’s move on to Coogi Night in Brooklyn!

The Nets are playing host to the surprisingly fun Clippers Saturday night on the second half of the back-to-back. Los Angeles is 9-5 and has finally moved on from the Lob City era after letting Deandre Jordan leave for the Mavericks this summer. They serve as something of an inspiration for the Nets, at least in my opinion. A bunch of guys who fit together nicely and play hard for the team. They’ll be tough to beat, especially coming off of a back-to-back, but maybe Brooklyn gets a little morale boost from their City Edition jerseys and court. Very cool.

Let’s get into it.

Where To Follow The Game

YES and WFAN have this one at 6 p.m., ET. Early start.

Injuries

Caris Levert (dislocated foot) and Treveon Graham (hamstring strain) are still out. No word on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who sat out the Wizards game. Also no word whether LeVert will be on the bench in street clothes.

Avery Bradley and Luc Mbah a Moute both missed Thursdays game, we’ll see if either return for this one.

The Game

The Clippers have won three straight against some of the best talent in the NBA in the Bucks, Warriors, and Spurs. Their win against the Warriors was the game where Draymond Green and Kevin Durant got into a spat over Green refusing to pass KD the ball. Making the team of the century frustrated enough to infight counts for something.

They’re sort of a motley crew of players plucked from other teams; castoffs that have found their way onto the other LA team. They’re mostly not young, but they’re springy and play tough basketball. Doc Rivers looked just about done a couple seasons ago, but so did the rest of that Clippers team. It’s nice to see them shed that identity that got so very stale after a few years. They’re fifth in points per game at 116.6 and third in three-point percentage at 38.5 percent, LA isn’t messing around.

The Nets are going to have to really have to show up for this one. The Clippers might not end up one of the best teams in the league come April, but they’re hot right now. The Nets need to be hotter. Jarrett Allen could potentially be fed a couple extra passes into the post, seeing that LA’s only true big center is Boban Marjanovic who can’t play more than 10-15 minutes a game. If Allen gets himself a match up with Montrezl Harrell or Marcin Gortat he should look to attack the rim hard and draw some fouls.

It seems like in the absence of Caris, Spencer Dinwiddie is now a 30-ish minutes a game player, which is fine in theory but might not be amazing in practice. He and D’Angelo Russell have never quite gelled on the court, but there are signs they could. Dinwiddie said that after Friday’s game. And yes, if the Nets want to keep winning games they’re going to have to figure out a way to coexist. Also Joe Harris should be taking like eight threes a game but that’s a different issue.

The game could also be a face-off between the leading candidates (so far) between Dinwiddie and Lou Williams. The Nets guard has 15 games of 10 or more points coming off the bench while Williams has 14.

Player To Watch

It feels like Tobias Harris has been in the league my whole life, and he’s only 26. Debuting at 19 with the Bucks, he’s built himself into the ideal power forward for today’s NBA, and I wouldn’t mind it one bit if the Nets pursued the Long Islander in free agency this summer. He’s currently putting up 20.2 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 50% from the floor and 41% from deep. He’s dangerous and consistent, two things you never want to see combined in an opponent. Tobias Harris is going to be trouble Saturday night.

From The Vault

The City Edition jerseys and court are beyond dope. They’re so, well, Notorious. Take a look.

In case you missed it, or are a Knick fan, they’re a tribute to the coogi sweaters Biggie Smalls —the Notorious B.I.G— wore back in the day.

Alex Wong, writing for The Score, thinks the connection between Biggie and a Brooklyn team would have traveled well, noting that Smalls hung around with NBA players like Dennis Scott and Shaquille O’Neal in the 1990’s and would reference players in his songs.

“He saw us take (hip-hop) seriously, and he wanted to learn (about basketball),” Scott told Wong. “He would say, ‘Aw, shit, I know I’m big and fat and I can’t run, but I like to shoot around in the park sometimes.’”

Those courts were renamed for Smalls last year. And so now too will the Nets pay tribute with the new jerseys and court. Cannot wait to see them in action. My only request: Please give these unis the “A Tribe Called Quest” treatment next year. Pretty please??

Enjoy.

For a different perspective, head on over to Clips Nation, our sister site on SB Nation.