This game is where fireworks would happen. You know, if both teams were playing with a spark. The Brooklyn Nets are 7th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 24-27. There were on fire for a stretch but have come back down to earth of late. Still, still, they have won 14 of their last 20 games. That's really not bad. What's bad is having recent losses against the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons. Their other recent losses are more inexcusable -- losses to the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and #3 seed in the East, the Toronto Raptors twice. The Nets are 5-5 in their last 10, and a very respectable 12-14 at home this year.
But they're not done doing things. Today they just made a trade for Marcus Thornton for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. (Full scoop on that here.) They're also in the Jordan Hill sweepstakes (scoop here). Love em or hate em, the big market Nets want to win, and are supported by an active front office and a willingness to spend from their ownership. It's funny when they fail, but they're either going to eventually win a title or a Russian Billionaire will end up going broke. What I know about MP tells me that second one is very unlikely to happen.
The Jazz and Nets played earlier this season and we lost. For the record the good guys are 51-28 all time against the bad guys, with a whopping 31-8 record at home. The Nets are going to try to challenge that tonight.
While losing center Brook Lopez (and potential All-Star Brook Lopez) to injury early this season they've had to change things around. They'll be without Jason Terry and Reggie Evans because they just got traded. This could be an advantage for the Jazz as their deep bench is a little less deep for at least one night. For the season they are a middle of the road team offensively and defensively, and play at one of the slower paces in the league. Their defense is predicated on forcing turn overs (#6th best TOV%), and their offense is based on getting to the line (#5th best FT/FGA ratio on offense). They also shoot well, particularly from outside.
- Deron Williams, who has never shot well in Utah as a visitor
- Enes Kanter, I guess, as he was traded as a former future pick
- . . . . Gorgui Dieng of the T-wolves, who isn't even playing in this game?
Oh, and that Andrei Kirilenko fellow, but let's not dwell on that. It hurts like a very efficient and creative Russian knife when he does good things against us.
I guess the spark will have to come from the constructed Gordon Hayward vs. Deron Williams battle. In Gordon's case over the last few weeks, and Deron's case over his last few games in Utah, it could be a brickfest. So if you are going to the game, wear a hard hat.
Ultimately, it just could be filed under "the rookie education of Trey Burke" as we could see a motivated Deron Williams absolutely round-house-kick Trey Burke right in the midsection. If there ever was a time for the chip on his shoulder to help Deron do well it could be tonight when we have our "we hope he's the next best PG in our franchise" guy. Or maybe all Deron needs to motivate him was getting his butt kicked by the Bulls in the last game before the All-Star break?
I guess what I'm really saying is that this could be that "it's finally revenge" revenge game for Deron. Hence, obviously, the header picture of Andrei Kirilenko and Paul Pierce.
And I guess this picture too.
D-Will and Andrei were great players for this team. We hope we have some great players on this team right now. Let's have a good, clean game.