After a horrid start to the NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets have picked up their game as a team and are nearly a .500 team. They are a .200 team on the 2nd game of back-t0-back games. Brooklyn got back to their winning ways by spacing the floor, using Paul Pierce as a power forward, and occasionally sliding Joe Johnson to that position as well.
Some of the Laker veterans may consider them a Boston Celtics team as well. Pau Gasol is still spearheading a team going up against Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Due to the small lineup, the Nets are the 2nd worst rebounding team in the NBA. They are slightly better than the Miami Heat. Miami compensates with great opponent field goal percentage and by forcing turnovers, but Brooklyn doesn’t have those capabilities.
Brooklyn also has Deron Williams back. Although he isn’t the same Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz years, he’s still capable of breaking down the defense and frustrating the Laker point guards. Steve Blake isn’t on the team anymore to contain point guards. Instead, it’ll be a big task for Kendall Marshall and Steve Nash to fight back with dribble penetration and good offense.
With Brook Lopez out, Brooklyn may compensate with Kevin Garnett and Blatche playing extensive time at center. Mason Plumlee has a tremendous motor and underrated athletic abilities, so look for him to earn more playing time if the Nets can’t get going offensively.
Brooklyn likes to play at a slower tempo with Pierce, Garnett, and Johnson on the floor. Look for the Los Angeles Lakers to push up the tempo when they can, especially with Wesley Johnson having an opportunity to play power forward against Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson. The Laker lineup will be flooded by wing players, more to D’Antoni’s liking. Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks may each get well over 20 minutes per game based on their skill level, energy, and health. This should give them a good chance to come out with a win for tonight’s game.