Couldn’t complete the Florida double-play. On Sunday night, the Brooklyn Nets had a chance to sweep both ends of the weekend back-to-back. However, they didn’t have it going and the Orlando Magic went on to a convincing win. Luckily for Brooklyn, they’ll get a chance to have some home cooking the rest of the regular season.
The opponent tonight is focused solely on May 16, 2023. That’s the date of the NBA Draft Lottery, and the Houston Rockets are hoping they land the number one pick. The last two times they got the top pick, they drafted Hakeem Olajuwon (1984) and Yao Ming (2002). Maybe they’ll get lucky one more time. In the mean time, the Ls will keep on piling up, and the New York Knicks were more than willing to help the cause.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Tip after 7:30 PM.
Royce O’Neale and Seth Curry both missed Sunday’s game, but they’re both available tonight. Edmund Sumner also missed the game, and he’s questionable with a right hip contusion. However, that wasn’t the big news coming into tonight’s contest.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jacque Vaughn announced Ben Simmons will miss the remainder of the season due to his back injury and will begin rehab. He spoke more about Simmons and said:
“And overall you just think about, he’s 6’10”, athletic, what he can do and bring to our team, how he can help our group on both ends of the floor. We want to be involved in that. We want to see that. I want to coach Ben and I want to be able to push Ben to get back to all-defensive team and impact our team on both ends of the floor. So that’s definitely the goal going forward.”
Simmons’ status and his health will shape a lot of what the Nets plan to do in the near and distant future.
No Jae’Sean Tate.
Brooklyn won the first game earlier this month. This is the last meeting between the two teams this year.
When one player makes 75 percent of your team’s 3-pointers, it’s going to be a rough day at the office. That’s where the Nets found themselves on Sunday as everybody other than Mikal Bridges combined to make two 3-pointers on the night. That’s some nasty business right there. More than most teams, the Nets rely heavily on their 3-point shot, and if it’s not going tonight, they’re gonna be in for a battle.
Fortunately for Brooklyn, the Rockets are the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA as their 32.6% from deep is last in the league. Houston currently doesn’t have any plus 3-point shooters, so they make it a point to attack the basket as much as they can. They’re seventh in the league in drives and third in shots inside the restricted area. However, they have the fifth worst shooting percentage on drives and fourth worst inside the restricted area. Add all that up and it’s a good reason why the team is 27th in offensive efficiency.
On the flip side, the Rockets are the best rebounding team in the league while the Nets are tied for the very worst. Brooklyn has gotten better on the boards over the past few games and if they’re able to keep exceeding expectations, they’ll have a chance to keep their slim half game lead on the Miami Heat.
Having two days off will do wonders for Nic Claxton. Clax has been handling the bulk of the interior responsibilities for the Nets, and he’s continued to add on to his game. He and Day’Ron Sharpe will get another chance to go up against Alpern Sengun.
Player to watch: Jalen Green
Somebody’s got a new job! Yesterday, Jalen Green was announced as the ambassador for a water company named Liquid Death. Good work if you can get it.
At his day job, he’s been making a way for himself. I came across this great tweet and wanted to share
Games for Jalen Green with 10 or more free throw attempts:— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) March 28, 2023
Rookie season: 2
This year: 13
Huge improvement. pic.twitter.com/65uSwOUU9e
Young players that can get to the line at a high rate are super valuable, and as Green continues to get better, maintaining that ability will serve him tremendously. His shooting numbers are down across the board as he’s had to do more on offense. A lot of that is probably due to the chaotic nature of the Rockets offense, so if/when Rockets management makes some roster changes in the offseason, we’ll see what his game looks like with some more support around him.
Mikal Bridges had himself a great game on Sunday night. He scored 44 points on 13-22 from the field with six 3-pointers and a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line. The most encouraging thing about Bridges’ game is when the Nets offense finds itself in a rut, you can give the ball to Bridges and he’s a sure bet to get to his spot on the court and take a good shot. You see Bridges settling into that star role every game, and with the final stretch coming up, the Nets will need him to take it to another level.
From the Vault
It’s WrestleMania week! With the big shows this weekend, let’s throw it back to one of the all time great matches in wrestling history
More reading: The Dream Shake
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Houston Rockets Game Notes - Houston Rockets
- Nets hope to cure recent ills with visit from Rockets - STATS
- Bridges leads Brooklyn against Houston after 44-point outing - AP
- Nets confident Spencer Dinwiddie will snap out of shooting slump - Andrew Crane - New York Post
- League-worst crunch-time offense to blame for Nets’ struggles - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Rockets at Nets: 5 things to watch - Jonathan Feigen - Houston Chronicle