OK, here we go. It took a minute, but it is looking like Wednesday night we’ll finally get to see Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving on the court together as the Nets take on the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
It’s a little bittersweet, as they’ll go up against old friend - and fan favorite - Jarrett Allen, who was sent to Cleveland in the James Harden trade. Jarrett, we miss you already.
This is it, this is the team - with a few minor moves possibly to come - but tonight we get to see it all come together.
WHEN: 7:00pm EST
WHERE: YES Network (tv), WFAN (radio)
Contrary to what Paul Pierce may lead you to believe, the Cavaliers defense has actually been the second best in the league in defensive rating thus far and their best bet is to continue forcing turnovers at a high rate. Cleveland has forced the most turnovers in the league this year and as we know well around these parts, the Nets tend to get incredibly sloppy with the ball at times. That could be the mix that keeps them in the game and allows them a chance to pull off the upset.
Without Love and with injuries across the roster, Bernie Bickerstaff’s offensive attack is undermanned. They have the worst offense in the league and a lot of that is due to their non-existent three point attack. Hard to win a shootout against a team like the Nets if you can’t knock em down from three point range.
The Nets have had issues with rebounds and will be dealing with the top rebounder in the league. Andre Drummond is coming off a 30/20 (!!!) game against the Knicks and is once again tops in rebounds per game and rebound rate. The big guy is doing some more ballhandling and distributing on offense to... mixed results so far, but he’s always due to control the boards and that will help keep Cleveland hanging around.
For more on the Cavs, check out Fear the Sword.