The Brooklyn Nets are 2-0 under interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo. But trying to make it three in a row is going to be a tall task, as the Nets travel to San Antonio to face the surging Spurs on New Year’s Eve (7 p.m.). Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
GOOD LUCK: The Spurs (24-8, 12-2 home) are streaking, having won five in a row. The Nets (16-14) haven’t beaten them in San Antonio since Jan. 22, 2002. Brooklyn has lost three in a row to San Antonio overall. Almost seven Spurs average in double figures, led by Tony Parker (19.2 points per game). Tim Duncan remains a force in the post, while Manu Ginobili continues to inflict damage off the bench. San Antonio also has a wealth of depth, with Danny Green, Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter nicely complementing its Big Three.
BATTLE OF THE BIGS: Over his past three games, Brook Lopez is averaging 27.3 points, 10.7 rebounds on 62 percent shooting from the field, 83.3 percent from the free throw line with seven blocks. Lopez has recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in every game during that span. But Lopez is going to have his hands full with Duncan (17.8 ppg, 9.9. rpg, 2.5 bpg).
NEW COACH, NEW RESULTS: Since Carlesimo took over for Avery Johnson, Deron Williams is averaging 17 points on 46.2 percent shooting, including 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
IS STAT RIGHT? The Nets have not allowed their opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the field in their past 12 games. Brooklyn is 9-1 when holding their opponents under 90 points, but that’s going to be next to impossible against a Spurs team that averages 105.6 points a night.