That could've went better. The Brooklyn Nets had a chance to come away with a last second win in regulation, but couldn't cash in. They wound up going into overtime where they lost by five points to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.
The opponent tonight will be the Atlanta Hawks. After some down years, Lloyd Pierce's club is hoping to get themselves back into the playoffs. They helped their cause by beating the Detroit Pistons on Monday night and are 3-0 on the season.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip after 7:30. Over on the Hawks side, FOX Sports Southeast broadcast team will include Vince Carter as an analyst. It will be his first game as an analyst.
Spencer Dinwiddie is out indefinitely after suffering a partial tear of his left ACL. Nicolas Claxton is out as well with knee tendinopathy.
Tony Snell is out with a foot injury. Kris Dunn underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle last week and is out. Clint Capela recently returned from an Achilles injury and is listed as probable. Free agent acquisition Danilo Gallinari is a game time decision with a foot injury.
Thanks to the pandemic and NBA's need to keep travel at a minimum, these two teams will be playing a two game series at Barclays. Game two will be on New Year's night.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving figure to be back tonight. 7/11 sat out Monday's game as it was the first time the team had a back-to-back this season. Steve Nash mentioned the team will be flexible when it comes to those kinds of games for the dynamic duo.
Now that they're back, they figure to share all their playing time together on the court. ESPN's Malika Andrews had an incredibly interesting tweet prior to Monday's game:
Small sample size, but per @ESPNStatsInfo:— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) December 28, 2020
+Durant and Irving have played 95 minutes together this season. The Nets have outscored their opponents by 64 points in that span.
+Nets have played 49 minutes w/o either player on the court and were outscored by 18 points.
I've seen a lot of Nets fans mention that they want Nash to stagger 7/11's minutes, and while I think that will be the case later in the season and in the playoffs, for right now, I'm OK with pairing all their minutes together. As they continue playing with each other and developing that natural rhythm, *then* I'd think about staggering their minutes. They're off to a fantastic start and their chemistry is already looking great. From here, you just tweak with some of the parts around them so as to get a lineup that excels late in games and can be the go-to five against elite teams like the Lakers, Heat, Bucks, etc.
With Spencer Dinwiddie out, who will take his place in the starting five? There’s one major candidate, which we’ll get to in a bit. In the meantime, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will see more playing time. TLC did well enough in his spot start Monday night and he along with Landry Shamet will have to pick it up to make up for the loss of Dinwiddie.
We have two 2017 draftees that didn’t get their contract extensions. The Hawks were not able to sign John Collins to an extension before the deadline and he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. Same can be said for Jarrett Allen here in Brooklyn. Like Collins, he wasn’t able to land a contract extension before the deadline and will be a restricted free agent this summer as well. Both guys have played well and have room for continued growth. For Allen, he’s Brooklyn’s best rim protector and his responsibility to deter shots at the basket and clean the glass make him one of the biggest keys to any success the Nets ant to have this season.
It’s also a big night for the Santa Clara University alumni. Steve Nash and Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce played together in the Broncos backcourt in the mid-1990’s ... as did Hawks assistant Marlon “Money G” Garnett.
Player to watch: Bogdan Bogdanovic
The other big acquisition for the Hawks this fall was Bogdanovic. Originally, we all thought he was going to be joining the Milwaukee Bucks, but... yeah, it’s been a weird year. He’s in the ATL now figures to be here for a good while. In a roundtable over at Peachtree Hoops, Wes Morton spoke about what Bogdan brings to the table for Pierce and the Hawks:
He’ll provide sharp spot up shooting, creativity and smart decision-making with the ball in his hands, and he defends with a bit more effort than is given credit. Bold-ish prediction: I think he’ll emerge as the team’s third best player by the end of the year after Young and Collins.
Having a shot creator like Bogdanovic helps give Trae Young another player to work with opens up a world of opportunities for the team and it’s been paying off as the team is third in offensive rating so far this season.
Brooklyn's sixth man will (presumably) be back on the bench after pinch hitting in the starting five on Monday. Caris Levert had a decent game, although there's one thing I'd like to see him cut down on. He took nine three pointers, but only made two of them. He’s a career 33.8 percent three point shooter, which isn’t all that bad. However, I think he’s best served attacking defenders off the dribble and getting to his spots at the rim or taking short jumpers. He did tally up 11 assists running the show and as his playmaking continues to blossom, his role will continue to grow along side it.
From the Vault
Vol. 3 turned 21 a few days ago (when you’re done here, read this great retrospective on Jay-Z run from 1998 to 2001 by my man Jayson Buford) and New Year’s Eve is tomorrow night, so let’s make it happen
More reading: Peachtree Hoops.
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Atlanta Hawks Games Notes - Atlanta Hawks
- Undefeated Hawks up for challenge vs. full-strength Nets - Larry Fleisher - STATS
- Chris Chiozza proving value once again in wake of Spencer Dinwiddie injury - Mollie Walker - New York Post
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot seizes opportunity for shorthanded Nets - Mollie Walker - New York Post
- Spencer Dinwiddie’s absence creates ripple effect in Nets’ backcourt - Greg Logan - Newsday
- ‘He was a badass’: Stories from Steve Nash’s college career at Santa Clara - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic New York
- Deal With Atlanta Hawks Was Final Step In Brooklyn Nets Landing Stars - Mike Mazzeo - Forbes Sports Money
- NETS VS. HAWKS: LET’S PLAY TWO FOR BROOKLYN AND ATLANTA - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Hawks’ Trae Young leads NBA in total points - Sarah K. Spencer - Atlanta Journal Constitution
- The Hawks Are Trying to Shoot Their Way Into the Playoffs - Dan Devine - The RInger NBA