Tuesday, December 3, 2013
W2W4: Nets vs. Nuggets
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets are hosting the Denver Nuggets at Barclays Center on Tuesday night. The Nets are seeking their first winning streak of the season. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
First time for everything: The Nets (5-12) have yet to string together consecutive victories this season. They are coming off a 97-88 win Saturday night in Memphis. Brooklyn is about to open up a stretch in which it plays nine of its next 12 games at home. If the Nets are going to turn around their season, now’s the perfect time. Brooklyn is likely going to need big performances out of center Brook Lopez and shooting guard Joe Johnson on Tuesday night. Lopez is coming off a 21-point, 30-minute effort against Memphis on Saturday night, while Johnson is averaging nearly 20 points over his past seven games.
Injury report: The Nets will be without Paul Pierce (hand), Deron Williams (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee). Alan Anderson will start in place of Pierce. Tyshawn Taylor will be the team’s likely starter at point guard.
Nuggets of info: The Nuggets have won six in a row and rank third in pace. The Nets are 0-5 against top-10 teams in terms of pace this season (Timberwolves, Lakers, Rockets, Clippers and Magic). Infamous Nets-killer Nate Robinson, he of the 23-point fourth-quarter in Game 4 of the first round last season, is coming off a 23-point performance Sunday and has been playing really well of late. Denver’s coach, Brian Shaw, was thought to be a favorite for the Brooklyn job until Jason Kidd came in and stole the show during an interview. The Nuggets rank second in the NBA in bench scoring (45.2 ppg). This appears to be a very tough matchup for Kidd and the Nets.