Good teams win comfortably. They also beat teams expected to compete for championships. On Sunday afternoon, the Brooklyn Nets played host to the Northwest Division leading Denver Nuggets. It was a great matinee game and Brooklyn pulled it out late and came away with arguably their best victory of the season. It doesn’t get any easier after this as they start an Eastern Conference semifinals back-to-back that will take them to Toronto before coming home to face the 76ers on Sunday night. Let’s make it happen.
The opponent tonight will be the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte had a quick turnaround from last night after beating the Washington Wizards in Charlotte. This is the first night of a three game road trip that will take the team to Chicago and Indiana before heading back home.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.
Caris Levert, Wilson Chandler, Nic Claxrton and Kyrie Irving are out.
Nothing here for Charlotte.
Brooklyn won the first game in November and the second one last week.
If you’re a team looking for a quality veteran frontcourt player, Marvin Williams might be your guy.
Sometimes a change in environment is the thing that unlocks all your potential. Over at At the Hive, Chase Whitney wrote about Terry Rozier’s season and the importance of having a teammate like Devonte’ Graham alongside him:
The Hornets have played 15 games since mid-November, and in those games Terry has shot 46.2% from the field, 91.9% from the line, 60.1% true shooting, while having a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is around the same time that Graham was inserted into the starting lineup, allowing Terry to float around the three-point line off-ball and hunt for open jumpers. As a player who has never excelled at creating their own shot, having a playmaker like Devonte’ in the backcourt makes his life a lot easier while also giving him a running mate in transition, where their lack of size and strength is made up for in quickness.
Where you wind up and the role you get plays such an important role in determining a player’s success. With that in mind, let’s talk about Spencer Dinwiddie! Dinwiddie brought Brooklyn home on Sunday night and will keep the party going while Irving heals. I feel like he’s two weeks away from getting a solid All Star game campaign cooking. It would be a well deserved honor for a dude who’s fought so hard to get where he is.
Nickname update: On Sunday, I asked y’all to help me come up with a nickname for the Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan duo. Gonna try out dgreene79’s submission of Air BnB (Blocks and Boards) for today and see how you guys like it. Together we will come up with a nickname!
In the meantime, they’ll look to shut off Charlotte’s opportunities at the rim and own the boards. Allen racked up his eighth straight double digit rebounding game on Sunday and he’ll look to keep it rolling.
Player to watch: Miles Bridges
When you’re rebuilding, finding good young talent is of the utmost importance. For Charlotte, the hope is that Bridges can be a player that helps get them back to respectability. So far, the second year player has seen his three point percentages increase as he's taken more threes per game. That's a result of playing nearly ten more minutes a night, but when you're able to maintain your efficiency as your responsibilities increase, that's a good sign. Assuming Charlotte trades either/both of Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams, Bridges will get even more opportunities to shine.
Taurean Prince will look to continue bringing that jolt of energy to the Brooklyn frontcourt. Prince provides a lot of heart, good shooting, and better than expected playmaking. If there's any positive to having star players sit due to injury, it's that the other guys like Primce, Joe Harris, etc have a chance to strut more of their stuff. If they struggle, you don't worry too much. But if they exceed expectations? You've got more stars on your hands. Sounds like one of those good problems.
From the Vault
On Sunday night, Anthony Davis scored 50 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves in another Lakers win. Most impressive about AD’s night is that he did it without making a single three pointer. Our friend John Schulmann dug into the archives and noted the amount of times in recent NBA history (1984-present) a player has dropped 50+ without a three.
There have been 4 50-point games without a 3-pointer in the last 12 years. Anthony Davis has 3 of those 4: https://t.co/zqwaqteb34— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) December 9, 2019
Unsurprisingly, a familiar face makes a few appearances. With that in mind, let’s take it back to late 2001 and watch Michael Jordan do MJ things.
More reading: At the Hive
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Charlotte Hornets Game Notes - Charlotte Nets
- Kevin Durant has NBA ownership on his mind - Peter Botte - New York Post
- Nets’ Kyrie Irving debate is becoming harder to ignore - Peter Botte - New York Post
- No Kyrie yet, but Dinwiddie filling in nicely for Nets - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- Nets’ Wilson Chandler will play in his return, meaning someone else will not - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- NETS VS. HORNETS: BROOKLYN MOVES QUICKLY TO ROUND 3 WITH CHARLOTTE - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets