Stack em up. Unfortunately for the Brooklyn Nets, it's “L”s stacking up these days. They went into Monday's game against the Orlando Magic hoping to stop their current five game losing streak. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't stop the bleeding and suffered their sixth straight loss. Fortunately for the Nets, they've got a few days off before hosting the Miami Heat on Friday night. A few days off will do the mind and body good.
The opponent tonight will be the Oklahoma City Thunder. Going into the season, I think just about everybody had OKC ticketed for a trip to the lottery following the trades of Paul George and Russell Westbrook. However, they've exceeded expectations and are having a solid season. Like the Nets, this is the second night of a back-to-back. And like the Nets, they lost last night, except OKC lost to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.
Kyrie Irving and Nicolas Claxton are out. Caris LeVert will play.
Nerlens Noel has been dealing with a sprained left ankle and didn't play last night. He more than likely won't play tonight. Still no Andre Roberson.
I would certainly understand if OKC fans and players were overlooking tonight's game. On Thursday, Russell Westbrook will be making his return to town as the Thunder host the Houston Rockets. I'm sure it's going to be an emotional night.
One of the biggest reasons for OKC's surprising start has been the play of Shai Gilgeous Alexander. Since coming over from the Los Angeles Clippers in the George trade, the second year man has seen a big increase in his role. He's playing more minutes, taking way more shots, and gets to be in charge in ways he wasn't as a Clipper. Over at Welcome to Loud City, Reidbelew makes note of another good part of SGA'S game:
An unexpected surprise has been SGA’s defense. He has all the tools to be a great perimeter defender, and his progress in this area shows. His length, athletic ability, and basketball IQ should fare him well as he progresses.
When you've got a youngster like this, give them plenty of opportunities to grow and watch them flourish.
Caris LeVert will play tonight. He came back on Saturday and played 16 minutes without any setbacks, but sat out last night's game as part of his return to action following seven weeks off following thumb surgery. With Beooklyn having three days off in between games, this could be an opportunity to give him some extended run.
Brooklyn tends to be loose with the basketball, but fortunately for them, the Thunder aren't near the top of the league in forcing turnovers. That could be their saving grace tonight.
Player to watch: Chris Paul
It's not peak CP3, but he's still been pretty damn good. By now we know the deal with Paul: hyper efficient scoring, always excellent decision making, clutch baskets, spunky defense, and...
That is still hilarious.
We're probably gonna get flooded with CP3 trade rumors by the deadline, but I kinda hope he stays with the Thunder. I'd love to see him lead a team to the playoffs as the top guy one more time.
Spencer Dinwiddie will look to keep on keeping on. He was one of the few Nets that cracked the double digit mark last night, but he went 6-19 along the way. He's been carrying a heavy load and having two days off between games following this one will do him some good. Gotta sneak in as many moments of rest as you can when you have to do so much.
From the Vault
Kevin Durant's run in January 2014 was one of the best stretches of play in the last decade and one of the factors that helped him win the MVP.
More reading: Welcome to Loud City
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Oklahoma City Thunder Game Notes - Oklahoma City Thunder
- Streak over, Thunder regroup for visit to Nets - Larry Fleisher - STATS-TSX
- Why Caris LeVert’s Nets benching is already over - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Eight bold and interesting Nets predictions for 2020 and beyond - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic New York
- NETS VS. THUNDER: BROOKLYN BOUND ON A BACK-TO-BACK - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets