The Brooklyn Nets have had just one winning streak this season. They’ll look to change that Saturday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Coming off an impressive victory in Oklahoma City two nights ago, the Nets (11-21) have a great chance to build some momentum. The Cavaliers (11-21) will be without point guard Kyrie Irving (knee), so this is a game Brooklyn needs to win. The Nets’ only other winning streak this season? Three games (Dec. 7-12).
RETURN OF DRAY: Andray Blatche is back after missing the past four games due to personal reasons. With Brook Lopez out for the rest of the season, it’s important for the Nets to have Blatche in the lineup for depth and production purposes. Andrei Kirilenko's return has helped Brooklyn immensely on the defensive end.
GOING SMALL? Nets coach Jason Kidd said the staff hasn’t made a decision about going small again with Shaun Livingston in for Mirza Teletovic and Paul Pierce playing power forward. Brooklyn has had a lot of success with that small lineup. At the same time, Cleveland’s imposing frontcourt of Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson may sway Kidd from going that way.
BROOKLYN’S BACKCOURT: Deron Williams is coming off a season-high 29-point, five-steal performance against the Thunder. Meanwhile, Joe Johnson, who hit the game-winning buzzer-beater, is averaging just 8.3 points over his past four games on 32.6 percent shooting. It would be nice to get both of them going at the same time.