Thursday, January 2, 2014
Starting Five: Can history repeat in 2014?
By Mike Mazzeo
Exactly a year ago, the Brooklyn Nets turned their season around in Oklahoma City.
They had just been embarrassed by the San Antonio Spurs by 31 points on New Year’s Eve.
The Thunder had won 12 straight games at home. But the Nets went right into hostile Chesapeake Arena and emerged victorious, winning handily, 110-93.
Brooklyn, 16-15 at the time, would go on to win its next six games, ultimately ending the regular season 35-19 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Things have obviously changed a lot since then. Granted, the Nets are coming off a 21-point rout at the hands of the Spurs on New Year’s Eve. But Brooklyn is 10-21 now, five games behind the surging Toronto Raptors in the "Titanic Division."
Kevin Garnett vented his frustration Wednesday. This season has been a disaster for him and the rest of the team. The Nets are 0-2 on their three-game road trip, and the expectation is they’re going to lose Thursday night, too.
The Thunder (25-6) are going through a bit of an uncertain patch right now without Russell Westbrook, and facing the Nets might be exactly what they need to get on track.
But if the Nets can somehow manage to upset MVP candidate Kevin Durant & Co., it would certainly be a positive step toward turning this season around -- much as they did last year.
Question: What is your level of confidence that the Nets can win Thursday night?
In case you missed it: KG’s frustration in his own words. Plus, Andrei Kirilenko is expected to see an uptick in practice time Wednesday.
Complete package: For all the talk about their offense, Oklahoma City ranks second in the NBA in defensive efficiency, yielding only 97.5 points per 100 possessions. The Thunder rank fifth in offensive efficiency, by the way.
Up next: Nets at Thunder on Thursday night.