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Live Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30PM EST

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

And so it goes. Sure, the win against the New Orleans Pelicans wasn’t pretty. But, a win is a win.

Thursday night, the Nets take on a struggling Spurs team - that’s really weird to write, to be honest. A Spurs team that’s vulnerable and highly beatable. Even as the Nets won’t have Kyrie Irving, again, running the point.

This one would be nice to pick up.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (15-12) at San Antonio Spurs (10-16)

WHEN: 8:30PM EST

WHERE: YES Network (tv), WFAN (radio)

Game Preview

If the Nets have any chance, they’ll have to continue their sterling defense. Since losing Kyrie Irving, they have the second-best field-goal defense in the league. They forced the Pelicans to miss 17 straight shots at the end of the second and beginning of the third periods.

On the other hand, the Nets have the worst 3-point shooting percentage in the league over the last five games. It would be nice to keep playing D while hitting some three’s.

For more on the Spurs, check out Pounding the Rock.

The Nets, for all their current mediocrity (they sit just above the middle of the pack in both offensive and defensive rating) are a team that are relatively settled in their identity. Even in the absence of their most formidable scoring threat, Kyrie Irving, they have a knack for scrapping their way to wins regardless of the quality of opponent (sporting wins over the Rockets, Nuggets, 76ers, and Celtics), while rarely falling to teams beneath them (narrow losses to the Hornets, Pistons, and Grizzles stand out as the only obvious blemishes). It’s not hard to see how they’ve earned that nickname, even in the absence of their recovering wunderkind Kevin Durant.

The Spurs, on the other hand, have yet to find their stride on a nightly (or even quarterly) basis, in spite of sporting comparable (and perhaps even superior) health and talent. It is, most surprisingly, San Antonio’s execution that is responsible for their unfortunate record, leaving us with the confounding spectacle of the most decidedly un-Spursy team in recent memory.