On the board. It was ugly as hell, but the Brooklyn Nets delivered down the stretch and came away with a gutsy win against the New York Knicks on Friday night at Barclays Center. After this one, they'll be off for two days before coming back to BK.
The opponent this evening will be the Memphis Grizzlies. The franchise is in a state of transition as they are deep in a rebuilding phase. They lost their home opener on Friday night against the Chicago Bulls and are currently 0-2.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WCBS 880 on radio. Tip off after 6 PM.
No Kevin Durant or Wilson Chandler.
Everyone's good to go for the Grizz.
Put simply, you are not going to beat many teams when you turn it over 26 times. The Nets were incredibly sloppy with the ball on Friday night and probably should've lost. Fortunately for them...
Kyrie Irving is here to save the day. Irving balled out late and hit the game winning three over RJ Barrett to seal the win. He'll get to see another rookie as Ja Morant will draw the assignment to slow Irving down. Morant really made a name for himself in last year's NCAA tournament and will be one of Memphis' shining lights going forward. Morant's three point shooting took a major leap forward in his sophomore season at Murray State, and if he's able to keep improving in that area while finishing strongly at the basket, he'll become a star.
Of course, the Grizz are in a rebuild mode after the glory days of Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr. They are winless so far this season. losing to the Bulls and Heat. In both cases, young guards, Kendrick Nunn and Justise Winslow in Miami and Zach LaVine did them in.
I think Caris Levert is the second best player on the active roster, which is why I'm surprised he only played one minute in the fourth quarter on Friday. Granted Spencer Dinwiddie had a lot of crunch time success last season, but I'm sure Kenny Atkinson could've found a way to get Levert in somewhere. We'll see how he handles rotations in close games going forward.
Player to watch: Jaren Jackson, Jr.
If the Grizzlies are to find themselves in playoff contention in the near future, Jackson will be the person to get them there. In the big SB Nation NBA Preview, Grizzly Bear Blues site manager Joe Mullinax had this to say about JJJ:
Jaren will be expected to carry much more of the load offensively, and the schemes of new coach Taylor Jenkins will be built around what Jaren does well, especially defensively. He will be asked to be “the man” by the end of the season if not sooner, and while he will fail more often than we’d like he will grow from the experience and still post a “Most Improved Player” level type of season.
Jackson can also play center, so look for the Grizz to slide him up a spot deep in the second half so another exciting youngster, Brandon Clarke, can be on the court as well.
Taurean Prince will be assigned to Jackson to start. Prince brings a lot of heart and passion to the Nets, and on Friday showed he'd stick up for his teammates no matter how intimidating the opponent may be. You need guys like that on your team.
Oh yeah, he's a capable three point shooter and defender, too. Can't forget that.
From the Vault
Since we're in Memphis, it's only right Three 6 Mafia brings us home
More reading: Grizzly Bear Blues
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Memphis Grizzlies Game Notes - Memphis Grizzlies
- Irving-led Nets visit winless Grizzlies - STATS/TSX
- Kyrie Irving touched by Nets’ reaction to Knicks scuffle - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Allonzo Trier: Kyrie Irving’s ‘take over’ shot wasn’t Knicks dig - Marc Berman - New York Post
- Sarah Kustok: Kevin Durant’s hidden Nets role, women in the NBA - Steve Serby - New York Post
- Irving brings higher expectations, confidence to Nets - Greg Logan - Newsday
- What the Nets fixed from their season-opening loss that carried them over the Knicks - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic New York
- NETS VS. GRIZZLIES: CLUTCH KYRIE IRVING AND BROOKLYN HEAD TO MEMPHIS - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Coby White bests Ja Morant in battle of top NBA rookie guards as Bulls beat Grizzlies - David Cobb - Memphis Commercial Appeal