- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Nets will play their final home opener in New Jersey on Tuesday night when they take on the Hawks at Prudential Center.
Here's what we’ll be watching for:
BOO THE HUMPTY HUMP? How will Kris Humphries be received by the home crowd? You would think the 26-year-old power forward be cheered, but the way the Knicks and Wizards fans treated him, who knows? We figure if Humphries has another 21-point, 16-rebound game, the fans will shower him with praise.
O-WILL: D-Will his his nickname, but Deron Williams is clearly going on the offensive this season. The 27-year-old superstar hoisted up 21 shots in Monday night's victory over Washington. For his career, he’s averaged 13.4 shots per contest. The Nets clearly want him to look for his shot, even though he's always been a pass-first point guard.
A STEP UP: The Hawks are like a better version of the Wizards. Al Horford and Josh Smith are both athletic and can rebound. The Nets struggled at times against the Wizards' quickness and athleticism -- especially in transition. It'll be up to Damion James and Humphries to slow them down a bit. If that's even possible.
STRONG START: The Nets were horrendous in the first quarter on Monday night. They turned the ball over on their first three possessions, missed 12 of their first 13 shots and found themselves trailing 26-13 after the opening 12 minutes. Coach Avery Johnson won't be thrilled if it happens at home against the Hawks.
BRING IN MO: The Nets struggled to close out games last season, but they outscored the Wizards 24-10 in the final 10:51 of regulation on Monday night and amped up the intensity on the defensive end during that stretch. Let's see if they can repeat that performance in the closing minutes Tuesday night.
A JOKE NO MORE? According to a Tweet from the YES Network, the Nets-Wizards opener on YES Monday night did a .81 HH rating, the best rating for a Nets opener since 2007 and highest-rated Nets telecast period since December, 2009.
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2dMatt Walks, ESPN.com
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8dMarc Stein and Mike Mazzeo