Wednesday, February 13, 2013
W2W4: Nets vs. Nuggets
By Mike Mazzeo
The Brooklyn Nets will look to go into the All-Star break on a high note when they face the surging Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night at Barclays Center.
Point guard Deron Williams will miss his second -- and what the Nets hope is his final -- game due to inflammation in both ankles. C.J. Watson will start in D-Will’s place, while Tyshawn Taylor, fresh off his career performance in Indiana Monday, will back him up.
Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
BATTLE OF PACE: The Nets (30-22) have struggled against teams that play at a face pace. They rank last in pace, while the Nuggets (33-20) rank second only behind the Rockets, who recently walloped Brooklyn. Denver averages 105.0 points for and 101.2 points allowed. The Nets are at 94.7 points for and 94.4 points allowed. The Nuggets are 8-2 in their last 10, while Brooklyn is 4-6.
MAKING A POINT: Watson struggled in Monday’s victory over the Pacers, going 0-for-7 from the field, while Taylor stepped up, delivering 12 points in 34 minutes, including two huge buckets in overtime. The Nets shot just 38.8 percent without Williams running their offense. It’s up to Watson and Taylor to make sure the Nets get good shots, use up a lot of the shot clock in their halfcourt sets and don’t turn the ball over, because the Nuggets will turn them into easy points at the other end.
DOMINANCE: The Nuggets have won eight of their last 10 against the Nets, who are 7-11 against the Western Conference.