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Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers preview: Live from Paris!

It’s the 2024 NBA Global Games, and we’re coming to you from Paris, France!

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Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Live from Paris, France!

The Brooklyn Nets are in Paris, and are smarting after a rough weekend at Barclays Center. They had a chance to get a much needed win against the Portland Trailblazers, but they couldn’t get the job and suffered a dispiriting loss in front of the hometown fans.

The opponent today is trying to climb the standings and hang on to what they have. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been ransacked by injuries, but they keep persisting. The San Antonio Spurs almost pulled off a miracle rally on Sunday afternoon, but the Cavs did just enough to hang on and win by two points. They’ve won their last three games.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN on radio. Day time for us so we getting started after 2:00 p.m. ET. For the out-of-towners, the game will be on NBA TV.

Injuries

Day’Ron Sharpe is out at least two weeks after hyperextending his knee in Sunday’s game. No Ben Simmons. He spoke to the assembled media on site, and we did a story about it. His agent, Bernie Lee, spoke to NetsDaily as well.

Darius Garland is out after fracturing his jaw. Evan Mobley is out after undergoing knee surgery. Ty Jerome is out with a right ankle sprain.

The game

The Cavs won the first meeting on Opening Night.

All the stars are out in Paris for the NBA Global Games, and Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty was on the scene, and took in some good pizza!

Our main man Lucas Kaplan is on site in Paris and will have everything you need from the big game. In fact, Lucas is the only Nets beat writer in Paris! So, exclusive coverage.

For Brooklyn, this game represents a great opportunity to bounce back and get on the good foot. Losing winnable games is always a bummer, and for a Nets team that has been in the dumps for the better part of a month, they can’t afford to take too many losses as we draw closer to the deadline. For a lot of the Nets players, the journey to this point has been long and winding. It’s a difficult road, but they’re sticking together and doing their best to support each other throughout this process.

It starts with defense, and when you’re not in sync and out of sorts

You’re in deep, deep trouble. Brooklyn’s defense has been a continuous weak spot, and they’ve got to figure that out amongst other things.

It’s trade season, and once again all eyes are on Donovan Mitchell. His name has been linked to the Knicks and Nets, but so far the Cavs aren’t interested in sending the once and future All Star out the door. In the meantime, D-Mitch will look to put on a show and impress the Paris fans. The 2024 Olympics are in Paris, and Mitchell is someone that is a contender to make the United States Men’s National team. On the season, he’s good for a solid 27/5/5 on .455/.350/.881 shooting splits.

Mikal Bridges snapped out of his funk in a major way on Sunday. Bridges scored 42 points on Sunday afternoon, and he did a lot of his damage in the painted area

The Nets need him attacking, attacking, attacking as often as humanly possible if they want to compete and win.

Player to watch: Jarrett Allen

It’s always fun to watch a good player go on an incredibly great streak. Since Evan Mobley’s last game on December 6, The ‘Fro is averaging around 16 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and one steal a night on 64% shooting from the field. Allen’s passing in particular has stood out, and coach JB Bickerstaff recently talked about that:

“It just creates a dynamic where defenses are going to have a hard time making a decision, and then top it off with a big guy who can pass from those spots and now they’re even more on their heels. So it allows you to diversify, but it allows you to just continue to grow and be dynamic.”

It feels like JA has been around for an eternity, but he’s still only 25 years old and is getting better by the day.

Without Day’Ron Sharpe, Jacque Vaughn will turn to Nic Claxton a bit more. Clax was outstanding on Sunday and was a force on both sides of the ball. When you lose a key rotation player like Sharpe, everyone has to pick up the slack and try to cover for his absence. Claxton has picked his game up after being a bit under the weather during the recent road trip, and Brooklyn will need A+ play for around 35 minutes a night going forward.

The team will turn to Harry Giles and Dorian Finney-Smith as backup centers, and for DFS in particular, his ability to switch everything and hit three pointers will be desperately needed. There’s no time better than the present to turn things around, and if you can do it in a city like Paris, it’ll help the franchise in the short and long term.

From the Vault

Since we’re in Paris, let’s show some love to our favorite French baller, Marine Johannes!

More reading: Fear the Sword, SB Nation NBA, Nets Republic, Cavs: The Blog