Saturday, February 22, 2014
Nets face Warriors without Lee, Bogut
By Ethan Sherwood Strauss | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
The Nets’ (25-27) quest for .500 may have just gotten easier. The Golden State Warriors will be without the services of starters David Lee (flu) and Andrew Bogut (shoulder injury).
In pregame Mark Jackson joked about wanting credit for Brooklyn’s 10-game win streak. A Warriors loss back on January 8th kicked off the Nets’ string of wins. Jason Kidd isn’t exactly expecting more generosity from this diminished Warriors squad, though.
“They’re a very talented team,” Kidd said in response to a question on the lineup change. “They’re well coached by [Mark Jackson]. They can put a lot of points on the board no matter who’s playing, so the way we look at it, there’s another guy over there who’s going to step up and whoever they start can put the ball in the basket.”
The Nets have grown accustomed to going small, but they’re likely to face an even smaller opponent on Saturday. Outside of the lumbering Jermaine O’Neal, the Warriors are starved for size. Marreese Speights is the only regular Golden State rotation player listed as a power forward, and center Ognjen Kuzmic has played a total of 58 minutes all season. On Saturday, Golden State called up Hilton Armstrong from the D-League to help shore up their frontcourt rotation.
Paul Pierce starts off at power forward, and for once, he’s facing a similarly sized starting opponent. Both Pierce and Golden State’s Draymond Green (a small forward in the media guide) are listed at 6 foot 7.
Unlike Golden State, Brooklyn boasts tremendous size on the perimeter (Williams, Livingston, and Johnson). The Nets have found some success through downsizing. Perhaps this is the night they’re able to bully a comparatively tiny team.