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Nets host the Pelicans before hitting the road

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Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The word of the day is "inexcusable" because that perfectly describes the Nets' loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. The Pistons were without Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, and Derrick Rose yet still came back from a double digit second half defecit to pull off the upset. For a team like Brooklyn that expects to make some noise this year, a loss like that can not happen under any circumstances. The road is about to get a lot tougher so for their sake, they better hope that game serves as a wakeup call.

The opponent tonight will be the New Orleans Pelicans. Now that Anthony Davis is out of there, things are a lot more settled for Alvin Gentry and his squad. They lost their last game on Saturday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but do have a few days off before heading home to the Crescent City.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WCBS 880 AM on radio (Cowboys vs Giants on Monday Night Football takes priority on WFAN 101.9 FM tonight). Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Nothing new for the Nets. Kevin Durant is still rehabbing, Wilson Chandler is still on his 25-game suspension. On Saturday, Nicolas Claxton was assigned to Long Island Nets who are in training camp getting ready for next weekend’s opener.

Unfortunately, Zion Williamson won't be making his New York City debut as he's currently recovering from knee surgery. Brandon Ingram left Saturday's game with a head injury. He's been cleared to play and will likely be out there tonight. Derrick Favors missed the last game due to a knee injury and his status is unknown for tonight's contest.

The game

Following Saturday's game, Kenny Atkinson had this to say about Caris Levert not getting any run in the fourth quarter:

Yeah, that can't happen again. Levert is supposed to be the Nets' second best player this season and thus HAS to be out there in winning time. Beyond that, Dinwiddie was having a lousy game and made a lot of mistakes that cost the Nets a chance at victory.

As you would expect, things went to hell for Brooklyn when they got loose with the ball. In that disastrous third quarter against the Pistons, they coughed it up seven times. They've gotta clean that up.

An old friend of ours will be in the house tonight. After getting off the 76ers, Jahlil Okafor reestablished himself with Kenny Atkinson and the Nets before leaving to join the Pelicans. Big Jah has found a nice role for himself with the Pelicans and is a good contributor coming off their bench. His newfound success speaks to his determination as well as the Nets coaching staff's work with him.

Lonzo Ball changed his shooting stroke, shoes, and address this summer, and so far everything's been paying off. He's shooting 75 percent from the free throw line after failing to crack the 50 percent mark his first two years in the league. Ball is still a plus defender and passer and being under Gentry will continue to do wonders for his game. He has the talent and charisma to be a star, and now that some of the distractions that surrounded him are elsewhere, we'll really get to see him come into his own.

Get ready to run. Both teams are top ten in pace, and as soon as someone turns it over, we'll be off to the races.

Player to watch: Jrue Holiday

As the Pelicans' best player, a lot rides on Jrue Holiday's shoulders. In addition to making plays for others, he also has to be the team's number one scoring option. Holiday had to miss a little time last month due to a knee sprain, but he's back and playing his usual amount of minutes a night. His shot hasn't been here so far, but it's still early.

Even when he isn't knocking everything down in sight, Kyrie Irving is still finding ways to make plays. Irving registered the third triple double of his career on Saturday night as he put up a 20-11-10 line in Detroit. The field goal percentage wasn't there, but you can live with it when he knocks down all his free throws and limits the turnovers. It's fun to have a tip top player on the squad.

From the Vault

400 Degreez turned 21 yesterday, which is a perfect time for me to bring back one of my favorite Juvenile tracks

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