Good teams win comfortably. After a win in Atlanta on Wednesday night, the Brooklyn Nets took a trip to the great state of North Carolina to face the Charlotte Hornets. Thanks to an outstanding fourth quarter, Brooklyn came away with a solid win on Friday night. The team has a few days off after this before hosting the Hawks.
The opponent Sunday afternoon will be the Denver Nuggets. This is gonna sound weird, but it feels like the Nuggets should be a bit better than what they are right now. Like, they're second in the Western Conference but we need more. They got washed by the Boston Celtics on ESPN on Friday night. They did put the final nail in David Fizdale's coffin as Knicks head coach so they have that going for them.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Brunch hours so we're getting it started after 3 PM.
Caris Levert, Wilson Chandler, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are out. Rodions Kurucs, Henry Ellenson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are with Long Island.
Nothing here for Denver.
Denver won the first meeting last month.
This is the third game in four days for Denver. They head to Philadelphia to face the 76ers to end their road trip on Tuesday night.
I need you guys to help me come up with a nickname for the DeAndre Jordan x Jarrett Allen duo. I'm open to all suggestions in the comments below.
While we wait on that, Allen and Jordan will have to contend with Nikola Jokic. The numbers are there, the impact isn't. Over at Denver Stiffs, writer Daniel C. Lewis had this to say about the Joker's season:
Why does it have to be the Nuggets that fix Jokic? He’s his own person, and the only person responsible for his actions is himself. He’s not playing to the best of his ability, he pouts, he loafs around, and he’s not playing well. That’s not on Malone, that’s on Jokic. He can and should be playing better. If he’s not able to do his best, he needs to find that motivation on his own. That’s part of being an adult, let alone the player the franchise is built around. Jokic needs to fix himself.
Yeesh. When you're supposed to carry the franchise, you gotta be ready to bring from the opening bell.
When the ball moves, good things happen. Brooklyn handed out a season high 35 assists Friday night and with the threes flowing like they tend to do, the Nets will have an opportunity to go shot for shot with Denver. It's going to be difficult as Denver rates as the second best defense in the league.
Player to watch: Jamal Murray
With very few exceptions in modern basketball history, championship teams need elite perimeter players if they want to win big. Can Jamal Murray be that person for Denver? Murray is the second half of the dynamic duo and he's taken a step forward this year. His turnovers are reasonably low for a player who has to initiate offense in the ways he does and he does a quality job getting good looks for his teammates. His three point rate is down while his long twos are up. That's surprising considering the paradigm of the modern NBA, but it's been working for him so eh.
One more chance for Spencer Dinwiddie to show out. Dinwiddie didn't score in bunches like he usually does, but he did hand out a team high 12 assists on Friday. Joe Harris had the hot hand so it made sense that they were tied in shot attempts as well.
From the Vault
We got to see Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James do battle in Portland on Friday night. Let's take a trip back in time to see the two legends at the peak of their powers
More reading: Denver Stiffs
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Denver Nuggets Game Notes - Denver Nuggets
- Irving-less Nets look to stay hot vs. Nuggets - STATS/TSX
- Brooklyn and Denver to meet in cross-conference contest - AP
- Nets’ Jordan-Allen center pairing went from worry to boon - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Iman Shumpert is leaving Nets with impossible roster decision - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Better ball movement for Nets with Kyrie out? - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Nwaba, Shumpert put spark in Nets’ reserves - Greg Logan - Newsday
- NETS VS. NUGGETS: BROOKLYN HIT THE BOARDS ON THE ROAD - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- How the Nuggets became the NBA’s unicorn: “Everybody who’s come here is willing to sacrifice” - Sean Keller - Denver Post