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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Starting Five: Can Nets keep pace vs. Clips?

By Mike Mazzeo

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If you play a fast-paced style of basketball, chances are, the Brooklyn Nets can’t hang with you.

Just take a look at their results against the top-15 teams in terms of pace:

2. Timberwolves, 111-81 loss

3. Lakers, 99-94 loss

4. Houston, 114-95 loss

7. Denver, 111-87 loss

T8. Clippers, 110-103 loss

11. Orlando, 107-96 loss

The highest team in terms of pace that the Nets have beaten this season is Phoenix (T13).

Brooklyn plays as the third-slowest pace. Only Memphis and New York are slower.

All of that information brings us to the fact that the Nets are playing the Clippers again Thursday night at Barclays Center.

We should also point out that Deron Williams was not healthy for any of those games, and he appears to be now.

This should obviously help the Nets immensely, given that Williams can push the tempo a bit. It should also help that the Nets will also have Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the lineup.

Last time they faced the Clippers Nov. 16, Brooklyn had Joe Johnson and not much else. Their reserves played hard -- as hard as they’ve played all season, in fact -- but it wasn’t enough.

Plenty of storylines in this one: KG and Pierce versus Doc Rivers. D-Will versus Chris Paul. Will Pierce come off the bench again?

Should make for a fun game -- assuming the Nets, winners of two straight games for the first time all season, weren’t fooling us Tuesday night.

Question: What do you think the Nets’ chances are against the Clippers?

In case you missed it: D-Will feels a lot healthier. No decision has been made on Pierce being a full-time reserve yet. Plus KG and Pierce get ready to face Doc.

By the way: D-Will was named the Nets’ union player representative. Mason Plumlee is the team’s alternate rep. Ex-Net Jerry Stackhouse was at practice Wednesday for the team’s union meeting.

Up next: Nets versus Clippers on Thursday night. No shootaround, so stay patient until pregame updates. And, as always, thanks for reading.