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Nets debut new jerseys (and close out homestand) vs Hawks

Atlanta Hawks v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Can’t ask for a better way to wrap up the month. The Brooklyn Nets were looking to get above .500 for the first time this season and were able to do that and then some by beating the Detroit Pistons by 26 points on Sunday night at the clays. Once this wraps up, the Nets will head to Detroit to begin a six game road trip.

The opponent tonight will be the Atlanta Hawks. After their magical run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, Nate McMillan and friends are looking to go on another deep run. They played the Wizards Monday night and came away with a very quality victory in front of the hometown crowd. When this one wraps up, they’ll be heading back to the A for a matchup against a very tough Utah Jazz team tomorrow night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network and ESPN on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip off after 7:30 PM.

Injuries

Nicolas Claxton has been out with a non-COVID illness for a week. He’s still out. Paul Millsap is back from paternity leave. Congrats to Paul and his family.

Onyeka Okongwu is recovering from shoulder surgery and is out. Trae Young is probable with right knee soreness. Bogdan Bogdanovic is probable with lower back soreness. John Collins is questionable with a left foot strain.

The game

Brand new, brand new! The Nets are debuting their City Edition Jerseys and court to match tonight. They introduced them in a snazzy video, which can be seen below:

From Long Island, to Jersey, to Brooklyn, to worldwide.

A new month ought to turn some things around for Joe Harris, we think. Harris has struggled so far this year, but the team hasn’t lost confidence in him. He hasn’t shot under 40 percent from three point range since the 2016-2017 season, so history is on his side. He played his best game of the season on Sunday night and looked pretty great off the dribble. If Harris can regain his consistency, it will unlock the Nets offense and take them to another level.

LaMarcus Aldridge has continued to play well off the bench, and his play has helped provide another source of offense for Steve Nash and company. LMA has been marvelous for Brooklyn and the more he continues to play, the more he provides the Nets with another high level, super efficient scorer. The Hawks have been one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA this year and the duo of Clint Capela and John Collins (if he plays) will look to win the battle on the boards.

If there’s any benefit to getting thrown out of a game, it’s that your minutes are fairly low. That’s where Kevin Durant found himself after he got tossed for an errant elbow on Sunday. KD has shot 70 percent or better from the field in each of the past two games, and the Hawks will have an incredibly tough challenge on their hands tonight. The tag team of De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish will likely get the assignment, and the hope for them is they can do enough to bother Durant and force him into an off night.

Player to watch: Trae Young

Remember last winter when Steve Nash dinged Trae for some of his foul drawing tactics as “not basketball?” That’s small potatoes comparatively speaking as the league office has its eyes zeroed in on Young and the fouls he’s drawn. His free throw attempted per game have been chopped in half this season as compared to last so it looks like it’s working. Look for Young to start getting those calls again if he continues to get to the basket at the clip he’s been at so far (50 percent of his shots have been within 10 feet of the basket and he’s third in drives per game). Even with all the chatter about fouls and the like, he’s still averaging 22 points and 10 assists a night so the man is doing something right. Young got to the foul line a season high 11 times on Monday, so he’s back on track.

The other guy the league office has been eying is James Harden. As friend of the site Nekias Duncan mentioned, Harden has to make a few adjustments to get back to the line like we’re accustomed to. But in what appears to be a sign of great things to come, Harden has looked like himself the past two games and picked up his first triple double of the season on Sunday. Harden looks like he has his bounce back and when he’s coming downhill, he puts an inordinate amount of pressure on opposing defenses. If you help too much, he’ll find Joe Harris and Patty Mills open for three. Think you can play him straight up, and he’s going right through you. If he keeps playing well, the Nets offense will return to the unstoppable form we got used to last season.

From the Vault

A great basketball injustice was rectified when Dominique Wilkins was named to the NBA 75 team.

And in honor of the Nets new threads, let’s take it back in time with a VC three!

More reading: Peachtree Hoops