Starting Five: Business in London Town
January, 16, 2014
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Nets' London field trip ends with a matchup vs. Atlanta in front of owner Mikhail Prokhorov.After four days in London, the Nets finally play basketball against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
They’ve played the role of tourists, NBA promoters and Chelsea FC fan in Kevin Garnett’s case.
But now it is time to do what they came to London for -- get a win over the Hawks. Jason Kidd will remind his players that this is a business trip first and foremost and the Nets can use the win.
Yes, they’ve won five-of-their-last-six games. But the Nets (15-22) still have some ground to make up after their tumultuous start. And despite their tiring trip and time change, they are in a nice spot of their schedule.
After playing the Hawks, the Nets have three days to recover from the international road trip before facing the Knicks at the Garden on Monday. They return home to face the Magic the next night before hosting Dallas on Friday. They’ll make an emotional trip to Boston followed by a home game against the Raptors.
AP Photo/Kirsty WigglesworthHere's a question: Can Kevin Garnett & Co. take advantage of their upcoming schedule?
It is a stretch of games where the Nets can continue to make a move in the right direction. Taking advantage of the Al Horford-less Hawks would be a great start. And perhaps they will be inspired by playing in front of owner Mikhail Prokhorov in London.
The Knicks game is obviously a big one considering how they are both fighting for the eighth spot right now.
Taking care of business at home against a rebuilding team like Orlando is a must. The Mavericks will be a tough Western foe to beat. Then the Nets have two key division games against the Celtics and Atlantic-leading Toronto -- two more winnable games.
It’s another good opportunity for the Nets to build more momentum and take another positive step out of the hole they dug, and that starts today in London.
Up now: How do you transform a grizzled 37-year-old veteran like KG into a kid again? Take him to visit the home of Chelsea FC.
Kidd talks about what he’s learned as a head coach so far.
What’s next: The Nets face the Hawks at 3 p.m. EST. Time your work break or lunch accordingly.
Net fact: The Nets are looking for their third straight victory in London. They swept the Raptors in their previous London trip in 2011.
Our question: What’s your prediction for the Nets in their next six games against the Hawks, Knicks, Magic, Mavericks, Celtics and Raptors? Let us know how you think the Nets will do in this stretch below.