The Brooklyn Nets have fallen on hard times. Maybe not so unexpected, but they are playing out the worst-case scenario right now as they head further down the standings and into the play-in scenario zone.
They are in 6th place in the East, one game behind the 5th-place Knicks and just 1.5 games ahead of the Miami Heat.
They’re in some dangerous territory right now. Not only is the play-in tournament become a coin flip situation, but if they do ultimately play out of the play-in (man that’s a weird sentence) they would then have to likely play either the Bucks or Celtics in the first round.
This isn’t a must win but it’s a need-to-win game. Not only for the standings but for gaining a little confidence among fans.
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (34-27) at New York Knicks (36-27)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. est
WHERE: YES Network (tv and app), WFAN-FM (radio)
The Nets took game one in December and game two in January while the Knicks took game three in February. This is the last regular season matchup between the two teams.
Last night, the Nets faced the second best rebounding team in the NBA and lost the rebounding battle by 17. Tonight, they face the third best. The Knicks have been outstanding on the glass and have two top 20 rebounders in the league this season. The Nets only have one reliable big man in Nic Claxton, and he’s doing all he can to handle frontcourt responsibilities. Clax had 9/7/4/3/3 in 30 minutes last night and was everywhere on defense. When he sat to get some rest, the Nets fell apart on defense. Brooklyn does not have a backup big man and the team has mentioned that they want to try and sneak Claxton some more rest here and there. That’s damn near impossible when the options on the team are as limited as they are right now.
Since the Durant trade, Jacque Vaughn has wanted the team to take a lot more three pointers than they did at the beginning of the season. There’s some logic to that as since they don’t have a superstar who can get their own shot whenever they want, you have to move the rock and hope you can bomb away from deep.
For more on the Knicks, check out Posting and Toasting.