It’s only one game. No need to panic. After taking a 12-game win streak into Chicago on Wednesday night, the Nets fell to the Bulls on their way to snapping that streak.
Now, they look to turn things around on Friday night against one of the more surprising teams in the league, the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans enter the evening third in the Western Conference, just one game out of first. They’ll have to beat the surging Nets, however, without two of their best players, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Brooklyn comes into this one fairly healthy - aside from a banged up T.J. Warren.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (24-13) at New Orleans Pelicans (24-14)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. est
WHERE: EPSN (national), YES (local tv and app), WFAN-FM (radio)
Nic Claxton will have a battle on the inside tonight. Jonas Valanciunas has been a Nets nemesis for years and is handling business in his 28 minutes a night. The Nets struggled defending Nikola Vucevic in the first half of Wednesday’s game, but started to slow the big guy down after halftime. JV is more of a bruiser than Vucevic and is one of the league leaders in rebounding. The Nets lost the rebound battle by 12 to the Bulls on Wednesday, and they’ll need to be a lot better tonight if they want to get the win. The team’s resurgence is tied in part to their work on the boards, and tonight will be a great test of those improvements.
Possessions will be a bit more valuable tonight. The Pels are third in points off of turnovers at almost 20 a night. On the flip side, they allow almost 19 points off of turnovers a game, fifth highest in the NBA. The Pelicans are tough on both sides of the ball, and if Brooklyn is able to force them into turnovers and get easy baskets in transition, it’ll help them establish the flow of the game and keep the raucous New Orleans crowd at bay.
For more on the Pelicans, check out The Bird Writes.