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Nets head down south to face Hawks

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

That was disappointing. The Brooklyn Nets had the game in hand late against the Miami Heat, but Brooklyn let go of the rope and wound up losing a winnable game on Sunday afternoon. After this, they’re heading up to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Friday before coming back home for another Sunday matinee.

Kyrie Irving won’t be available for either game, meaning he’s missed half the Nets games so far.

The opponent tonight will be the Atlanta Hawks. It’s been a ROUGH year for Lloyd Pierce’s guys, but maybe things are starting to get better. They beat up on the Golden State Warriors Monday night to snap a ten-game losing streak. There’s always somebody worse off than you are.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.


No Kyrie Irving, Caris Levert, or Wilson Chandler for Brooklyn. Rodions Kurucs and the two two-ways will be home as well.

Kevin Huerter missed Monday’s game with a shoulder injury. He’s out. Allen Crabbe underwent a non-surgical procedure on his balky right knee Tuesday. No revenge game for him. He’s out. John Collins is out due to a suspension for violating the league’s anti drug program.

The game

It’s one thing to lose. Everyone goes through that. It’s another thing to get smoked damn near every time out. For the Hawks, they’ve been on the receiving end of some of the ugliest losses imaginable. It doesn’t matter how disadvantaged you are on the talent scale, a team of professionals shouldn’t lose by close to 50 points twice in one season.

With this being his last season, we’re going to be seeing teams and fans pay tribute to our old friend Vince Carter. The Hawks are in Brooklyn on December 21 and on January 12. The team better be working on the coolest video tribute we’ve ever seen.

When Jarrett Allen isn’t dealing with foul trouble, he’s a bear to deal with. When he is, he’s stuck on the bench. He and DeAndre Jordan should own the boards tonight as Atlanta is in the bottom third of the league in terms of rebounding.

More concerning for Atlanta is their sky high turnover rate. Atlanta is second worst in the NBA at controlling the ball, but Brooklyn is third worst at forcing turnovers. Irresistible force vs immovable object, or something like that.

Player to watch: Trae Young

Usually, when your usage goes up, your efficiency goes down. Teams key in on you more, you have to take on more of the heavy lifting, and with a weak roster around you, you’re the only steady scoring option for your squad. Thankfully, Young isn’t like most dudes. In his second year, Young’s seen his offense skyrocket as his minutes and usage rate have increased by a bunch. Young has more than met the challenge as his shooting percentages are up across the board, he’s getting his teammates even more involved, and has trimmed his turnovers some. Young has range from practically anywhere in the state of Georgia so defenders don’t have a chance to relax against him whenever he has the ball in his hands. As he continues to grow, the hope is the Hawks surround him with good talent so we can see Trae put on a show come playoff time. The fans deserve that.

Spencer Dinwiddie will look to keep up with Young. Dinwiddie has handled all of the scoring and playmaking duties while Irving has been out, and he’s found his groove back as a result. He's handled the leadership role exceptionally well and if he keeps it up, might mess around and get himself to the All Star Game.

Kenny’s Milestone

The Devils yesterday fired their head coach, John Hynes, who had been with the NHL team since 2015. That makes Kenny Atkinson, hired a year later, the longest serving pro head coach in the New York area. It’s also rumored that another coach, David Fizdale of the Knicks, will lose his job this week.

From the Vault

It’s a national holiday! Which holiday you ask? Why, it’s Jay-Z’s birthday of course! While I could literally be here all day, I’ll keep it short.

A lot of the focus is on D’Evils, but it REALLY picks up once the beat switches. Look, a deep cut from a Memphis Bleek album over the “Murder was the Case” instrumental?!?!?! I watched this live that night and damn near ascended to heaven.

“I cream, I diamond gleam, high post like Hakeem...”

“Maybe I’m the one or maybe I’m crazy...”

Lemme stop here before I put one million videos here.

More reading: Peachtree Hoops