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Saturday, December 7, 2013
W2W4: Nets at Bucks

By Mike Mazzeo

The Brooklyn Nets will look to avoid falling into the Eastern Conference basement when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night at Bradley Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:

WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT: That the Nets (5-14), who have lost 12 of 15, could possibly be the worst team in the East at the quarter pole. No, this is not what they had in mind going into the season. But Brooklyn is just a game up on Milwaukee (4-15). Obviously, it would be a tie in terms of record, but still, it would not be good. The Nets are coming off an absolutely embarrassing 30-point loss to their crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks, on Thursday night at Barclays Center. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. We broke it down (so check out the previous blog entry). A quick summary: they can’t defend the 3-pointer, they fall apart in the third quarter and fast teams give them a lot of trouble.

INJURY REPORT: Deron Williams (ankle), Paul Pierce (hand), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee) are all out again, as expected. Williams, who will miss his ninth straight game and 11th overall, is likely to return Tuesday night at home against the Boston Celtics. Terry will be re-evaluated Monday. Kirilenko said this week that there is no timetable for his return. Pierce is on a 2-4 week timetable.

MILWAUKEE’S WORST: The Bucks were active in the offseason, but it hasn’t paid off. Brandon Jennings (trade), Monta Ellis (free agency) and J.J. Redick (trade) are all gone, and the Bucks are losing a lot of games as a result. They can shoot the 3-pointer (37.7 percent as a team), which the Nets can’t defend, so that’s good, but that’s about it. Caron Butler (knee) has missed five straight games, while Zaza Pachulia (foot) has also been out. It’s unclear if either will play.