Pour it up. The Brooklyn Nets, led by Kyrie Irving’s dazzling performance, put on a show in front of the home fans and came away with a convincing win against the Chicago Bulls last night. It was the team's second straight win. Gotta start getting into that groove before the break.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 8 PM.
John Wall’s still working his way back from the Achilles injury, so he’s out. Jordan Mcrae is out. If Rui Hachimura plays, it'll be around 15-20 minutes.
This is the second night of a back to back for Brooklyn.
Honest to God, the Wizards might be the worst defensive team I’ve ever seen in my life. They’re allowing an astonishing 116.6 points per 100 possessions, and their propensity to allow teams trips to the free throw line make things worse for them. It's breathtaking.
Did anybody see this coming from Davis Bertans because I sure as hell didn’t. He was a nice reserve with the San Antonio Spurs, but now that he's seeing more minutes and opportunities, everything's coming up roses. He's got a .431/.422/.878 slash line in 29 minutes a night.
In related basketball news, the Wizards neighbors and reigning WNBA Champion Washington Mystics resigned Elena Delle Donne and Emma Messeman. See what happens when you have good management running your team?
Maybe seeing the Wizards is what the doctor ordered for Caris Levert? He's only cracked the 50 percent mark from the field twice since rerurning from the iniury and has found himself on the bench in closing time lineups. He hasn't had a chance to put a string of great games together this year, but he's got one more half of regular season to right the ship.
Player to watch: Bradley Beal
I never knew an All Star snub would cause so much commotion. Beal wasn't chosen for the All Star team this year, and woo buddy he and his people are pissed. He's pissed, his fianceé is pissed, his agent is pissed, DC is pissed, everybody's pissed. If you're trying to look for a silver lining, at least Beal won't be in cold ass Chicago in February.
On the court, Beal's been getting buckets, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Kevin Broom of Bullets Forever explains:
He’s turned in some incredible scoring nights, and some duds as well. In addition, Beal’s contributions this season have been almost exclusively on the offensive end.
Indeed, the Wizards are on pace to have the worst defense in NBA history, and they’re astoundingly worse when Beal is on the floor. When Beal sits, the Wizards defensive rating has been 109.7 — right at the league average. When he plays, they allow 122.7 points per 100 possessions.
Can I get an encore? Kyrie Irving was unstoppable last night and scored the second most points in Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets history. He scored from everywhere on the court and showed once Now that Irving is all the way back, he's in prime position to help the Nets climb the standings (and avoid the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round!). The Wizards have so many issues and Irving is capable of exploiting every last one of them on the way to another scoring bonanza.
From the Vault
Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant in an emotional pregame ceremony. In honor of KB, let's throw it back to one of the more impressive regular season performances of his career.
More reading: Bullets Forever
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Washington Wizards Game Notes - Washington Wizards
- Hot-shooting Irving, Nets visit Wizards - Larry Fleisher - STATS/TSX
- NETS VS. WIZARDS: BROOKLYN HITS THE CAPITAL ON A BACK-TO-BACK - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets