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NBA Live Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 7:30 PM EST

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Heartbreaker. That’s the only way to describe Wednesday night’s game against the Mavericks. But, like any good heartbreak - we must move on.

Friday night the Nets get a chance to get things back on track with what should be a wire-to-wire affair against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers are just out there trying to figure out who’s who and what’s what, while the Nets are fighting really hard not to wind up in the play-in.

Hope I didn’t jinx it.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (36-34) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (26-42)

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. EST

WHERE: YES (local), WFAN-FM/AM (radio)

Game Preview.

Player to watch: Josh Hart

With all the Blazers lead scoring options out injured, Hart has had to do a lot more than we’re used to. Since the trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, Hart has averaged around 19 points on a .474/.357/.765 shooting split. His usage rate has skyrocketed, but he’s maintained his productivity despite the new responsibilities. Hart is someone that will likely be in the Blazers’ plans going forward, and having a player like him would help the Blazers get back to respectability and playoff contention.

The great thing about Kevin Durant is that even if you throw every defender you have at him, he’ll always make the right basketball play. Jason Kidd and the Mavs sent the most double teams KD has seen as a member of the Nets, and he was able to handle it. He was less efficient from the field than he normally is (8-20 from the field), but he handed out 10 assists and kept the offense moving along. Durant does everything you need to win and with two days off before a tough matchup against the Utah Jazz on Monday night, the coaching staff can put a bit more on his shoulders so he can bring home the W for the hometown faithful.

For more on the Blazers, check out Blazer’s Edge.