The 15-14 Brooklyn Nets welcome the 7-24 Cleveland Cavaliers to the Kings County this evening.
After starting 11-4 in November, the Nets dropped 10 of their first 13 games in December. Head coach Avery Johnson, who had been in the lead chair since the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, was fired on Thursday and replaced by interim veteran coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has stated that he has a lot of trust in Carlesimo but wouldn’t rule out a coaching search in the near future. The names Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy have been mentioned as possible candidates.
Brooklyn won last night at home against the woeful Charlotte Bobcats, 97-81. The Nets Big 3 Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez combined for 61 points to help deliver Charlotte their 17th straight defeat. Lopez led the team with 26 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks.
The Cavaliers also played last night, losing to the Atlanta Hawks in Cleveland,102-94. Second-year PG Kyrie Irving had 28 points, 5 dimes, 6 boards and 4 steals in the defeat. Coach Byron Scott’s best big man C Anderson Varejao sat out his fifth straight 48 with a bruised right knee and has been ruled out of tonight’s contest as well.
The Nets topped the Cavs 114-101 at home in their previous meeting on November 13th. NJ native and childhood Nets fan Irving put up 34 points ,and Varejao had a career-high 35 points and 18 boards in the defeat.
Tune in to the YES Network tonight at 7:30 PM ET to see if Brooklyn can pick up another W under new head coach Carlesimo before heading off on a difficult road trip with stops in San Antonio and OKC.