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Nets close out road trip in Detroit vs Pistons

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Detroit Pistons v Houston Rockets Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images

Charge it to the game. After a sensational win the night before, the Brooklyn Nets took their show on the road to face the league-leading Utah Jazz. Brooklyn didn’t have their best players available and when you’re shorthanded against the league’s best team, bad things are bound to happen. As such, the Nets got boatraced and lost by 30 points. It happens.

The opponent tonight will be the Detroit Pistons. The team is just counting down until the offseason so they can take stock of their roster, see where they can improve at, and gear up for next season. They lost on Wednesday night to the Indiana Pacers.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7 PM.

And not to be outdone, please join us on Clubhouse for Post Game analysis and Trade/Buyout talk! Join us here!

Injuries

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Spencer Dinwiddie are out. Landry Shamet likely won’t play tonight. Blake Griffin will be back. Maybe James Harden will be as well. He’s questionable. Blake Griffin, who rested his left knee two days ago, will be back to face his old team.

Hamidou Diallo and Rodney McGruder are listed as probable. Killian Hayes and Jahlil Okafor are out. Dennis Smith Jr is day-to-day. Cory Joseph was acquired in a deadline trade Thursday for Delon Wright. No word on his availability.

The game

Detroit won the first game in February while Brooklyn took the second in March. This is the last meeting between the two teams this season.

We’ve got some sad news to start off with today. The team announced last night that former Nets coach Stan Albeck passed away at the age of 90.

Yesterday afternoon was the trading deadline, and Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver made a move for his team. Detroit acquired Cory Joseph and two second round draft picks from Sacramento in exchange for Delon Wright. Joseph won’t be playing tonight but he’ll debut soon.

The Nets didn’t make any trades this year, and now that we’ve entered into buyout season, we’ll see if they look to scour the market to bring in someone that will help their championship odds. Of course, they’ll be getting one of the greatest players of all time back soon enough. That promises to be a good time.

Shout out to you, Alize Johnson! He joined the team on Wednesday morning and got thrust into heavy duty minutes with the team shorthanded. In his Nets debut, he scored a team high 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as well. He played with a ton of energy and even with the game being out of reach for most of the night, played hard from the beginning to the end. He’s on a ten day contract and definitely deserves another chance to impress Steve Nash, Sean Marks, and Nets management tonight.

It’s very rare to see James Harden sit out due to injury. His neck wasn’t 100 percent so the team gave him the night to rest up a bit. If he is back, hopefully he’ll be as close to 100 percent as possible so he can place his imprint on this game. We’ve been wondering about his minute totals, and the combination of sitting Wednesday’s game plus having two days off after this one could allow for the team to let him stay out there for close to 40 minutes without being too concerned.

Mason Plumlee has carved out a nice role for himself in Detroit and figures to be part of the rebuild over the next few years. His passing skills have really blossomed this season and he does a quality job initiating offense from the high post. The Nets bigs will be looking to control things on the inside tonight. Nicolas Claxton knocked down a three in what was otherwise a forgetful night for the Nets on Wednesday.

Saddiq Bey has been having a pretty nice rookie season and will be another person Weaver and the Pistons look to keep around. Over at Detroit Bad Boys, Kukhalil took a look at Bey and wrote:

As this season has progressed, Bey is learning how to become more than just an outside threat. He may not be that great inside the arc yet, but he’s already shown massive improvement through his first 30 games. As he gets more experience, an offseason to develop, and learns how to leverage his outside shooting to create inside looks, he’ll get even better.

Bey will see the league’s best three point shooter tonight. Joe Harris only played 5:43 on Wednesday, and theoretically he’ll be out there for more than that tonight.

Player to watch: Jerami Grant

Grant is the guy around these parts. This is his first go round as lead option on offense and while his shooting percentages aren’t the greatest, that’s to be expected for a player who’s usage rate has jumped 10 percentage points in one season. At 6’10 and 27 years old, Grant is entering the prime of his career and his continued growth will guide Detroit’s rebuild.

Blake Griffin will look to put on something resembling a show against his former team. He got Wednesday off since it was night two of a b2b. He’s looked pretty decent in his two games as a Net and coming off the bench will suit him as he doesn’t have the responsibility of leading a franchise on his shoulders anymore. Although he was only a Piston for 3.5 seasons, I imagine the fans will give Blake a nice hand when he enters the game. It would be nice.

From the Vault

We got some even more sad news as actress Jessica Walter passed away at the age of 80. Let’s revisit some of her best work as Lucille Bluth!

More reading: Detroit Bad Boys