WHAT: The Nets look to win their fifth straight, as they take on the Atlanta Hawks and former, beloved Net Vince Carter
WHERE: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
WHEN: 3:00 p.m. EST
HOW: YES, FSSE-ATL; NBA League Pass
THE STORY: Game Preview
Without exaggeration, the best thing about the Hawks this season might be Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore’s new podcast “Winging It” on The Ringer. It’s really good! Great insider basketball stuff, plus it’s where Steph Curry admitted he doesn’t believe in the moon landing. Plus Vince Carter! Check it out. Because the actual Hawks are not worth checking out.
Unsurprisingly, Atlanta has the third worst Net Rating in the league at -9.4, the worst turnover percentage at 17.5%, and they allow the most three pointers per game in the entire league at 13.0. They’re surprisingly not atrocious at defense, ranking 23rd in Defensive Rating, just two spots behind the Nets, but they’re certainly not good enough to make up for their lack of offensive firepower. This is a team playing for Zion Williamson, not wins.
For more on the Hawks, check out: Peachtree Hoops
Both teams have intriguing young players on the shelf, with Caris LeVert out for Brooklyn and Taurean Prince out for Atlanta. Still, the Nets have an intriguing backcourt piece in Spencer Dinwiddie, who recently inked a lucrative contract extension, and the talented guard has scored 25 points or more in three straight games. Atlanta’s task will be to slow down players like Dinwiddie and second-year big man Jarrett Allen, and Brooklyn’s offense has been in the middle of the NBA pack this season despite the team’s unsightly overall record.
Elsewhere, Jeremy Lin returns to Brooklyn for the first time since being dealt to the Hawks in July, and the veteran guard spent the last two seasons with the Nets. Though Lin missed all but 25 minutes of the 2017-18 season with injury, the 30-year-old did perform well in Brooklyn during the previous campaign and his return trip to New York (where he also famously excelled for the Knicks) will be a story line to monitor.
From an injury standpoint, the Hawks will be without Prince, Omari Spellman, Alex Poythress and Miles Plumlee. None of those absences are surprising given recent news and, for Brooklyn, Allen Crabbe is listed as doubtful after missing the team’s game on Friday.