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Nets come home to take on the Pistons

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Detroit Pistons v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Almost got em. The Brooklyn Nets went into hostile territory and had a chance to come away with their third straight victory and snap the Philadelphia 76ers’ five game winning streak. Brooklyn came all the way back from down 17 points and tied the game deep in to the fourth quarter, but couldn’t bring it all the way as Philly handed them a tough loss. Go 49ers.

Rebuilding is never easy. The days are darker, the losses pile up, and you’re waiting for next year. The Detroit Pistons are waiting for next year and more immediately, the trade deadline. The Pistons lost their fourth straight game on Monday as the Milwaukee Bucks beat them by 20 points. Growing pains.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 7:30.


No Kevin Durant. No word on anyone resting in second half of back-to-back.

Cade Cunningham is out with a left tibia stress fracture. Marvin Bagley III is out with metacarpal fractures in his right hand. Cory Joseph is out with low back soreness. Isaiah Stewart is questionable with left shoulder soreness. Isaiah Livers is questionable with a right ankle sprain.

The game

Brooklyn won the first meeting in December.

It doesn’t matter who you face: if you turn the ball over, you’re in trouble. Brooklyn coughed it up 16 times last night and the Sixers took advantage by scoring 23 points off of those turnovers. Luckily for Brooklyn, the Pistons are in the bottom third in forcing opponent’s turnovers. If the Nets are able to take care of the ball, they’ll be able to keep the Pistons at bay, make the most out of their possessions on offense, and prevent Detroit from getting easy buckets.

The expectation was that T.J. Warren would take on a bigger role due to Durant’s injury. However, it hasn’t worked out that way yet. Warren only played nine minutes last night and hasn’t surpassed the 20 minute barrier since the game against the San Antonio Spurs. With this being night two of a back-to-back, Jacque Vaughn might be calling his number a bit more frequently tonight.

The Nets couldn’t do anything against the league’s worst defense last week. Maybe they’ll have some luck against the second worst defense. Worth a shot, right?

Alec Burks is someone teams are looking to pry from the Pistons. At 6’6, he can handle the ball, play rangy defense and is shooting a career best 43.6 percent from three point range this season. The Pistons could use some good vets around the kids, and if there isn’t anything out there for Burks, he’ll be a good person to have around down the stretch of the season.

I mean, look at this

Whew! Kyrie Irving has kept the scoring party going and crossed the 30+ point on 50+ percent shooting plateau for the third straight game. What was also great about his game was that he took a season high 11 free throw attempts. Irving is absolutely magical when he has the rock in his hands and he lit Detroit up to the tune of 38 points the first time around. Irving has handled the attention defenses have thrown at him and he’s been able to grow his game and keep his teammates on the right path.

We’ve got one week before we find out if Nic Claxton will be named to the All Star Game. Clax shot a sparkling 91.7 percent from the field last night and took it to Joel Embiid and the 76ers bigs every chance he got. His 3+ block streak ended, but two blocks with 25 points and 11 rebounds on national TV is a nice consolation prize. As a team, Detroit is only shooting 64.1 percent inside the restricted area, fifth worst in the league. Clax and the Nets will look to scare off the Pistons from attacking the basket and into tough jumpers instead.

Player to watch: Bojan Bogdanovic

With so many teams in the Western Conference bunched up in the standings, the thinking is someone’s gonna get desperate and pay a premium for Bogie. Our old friend is having the best season of his NBA career as he’s averaging a career best 21.5 points on .491/.423/.882 shooting splits. Bogdanovic can score from all three levels and as the Nets can attest to, can heat up and take over a game in a hurry. Even with that, there’s one part of his game that can stand to be a bit better. Brady Fred of Detroit Bad Boys explains:

I love Bogey and think he’s the best pure shooter the Pistons have had in years. This wouldn’t even be a conversation if Cade Cunningham were healthy, but it is hard to watch Bogdanovic isolate over and over again late in games. It’s a common thing for Casey’s teams to lean on their best scorer late in gams, but Bogdanovic is miscast for that solo-shot-creation role. He devolves into a turnover machine. Hopefully, more of that responsibility falls to Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes in 2023.

As a third option on your team, it’ll be a party. We’ll see if he’s still in the D come February.

Ben Simmons didn’t get anything going on offense in the first half of last night’s game. However, after intermission, he started looking for his shot and playing more assertively. In postgame, he mentioned that he was passing too much in the first half, and it feels like Simmons is trying to strike the right balance between being aggressive and setting his teammates up.

He still has great court vision and he needs to put the pressure on opponents in transition as much as possible. Trust what you’re doing, play with fire, and you’ve got it under control.

From the Vault

Still thinking about our guy

More reading: Detroit Bad Boys