The 17-15 Brooklyn Nets come to the nation’s capital tonight to take on the Washington Wizards. The Nets have gone 3-1 since P.J. Carlesimo was elevated to interim head coach last week.
After getting shellacked in San Antonio 104-73 on New Year’s Eve, the Brooklyn boys turned it around 48 hours later in Oklahoma City. The Nets ended the Thunder’s 12-game home winning streak 110-93 and earned their most impressive W of the season.
First-year Net Joe Johnson went 5 of 10 from 3-point land and scored a season-high 33 points. PG Deron Williams added 19 points, 13 dimes and 5 steals in the victory after having his least productive game of the season (8 points and 1 assist) in the loss to the Spurs.
The Wizards have the worst record in the NBA at 4-26. They’ve dropped 11 of their last 12 contests including an 89-81 loss at Indiana on Wednesday.
Starters Martell Webster and Garrett Temple combined for zero points. Jordan Crawford, a third-year SG from Xavier, led Washington with 20 points, 7 dimes and 2 steals off the bench.
Unfortunately the Wizards’ woes will continue after tonight’s 48 as they’ll have to face Miami and OKC without point guard John Wall, who will likely be out of commission for another 1-2 weeks.
This evening’s competition will be the first of four matchups between these two Eastern Conference foes, who had much more in common last season when they finished the regular season just two games apart.
In addition, tonight’s game will mark Andray Blatche’s first return to Washington since joining the Nets. The 26-year-old veteran spent his first seven seasons with the Wiz before he was waived via the amnesty clause this summer.
6’11” Blatche, who shot a career-worst 38% from the field last season and missed more than half of the games, was at times booed mercilessly by the frustrated Wizards fanbase. This year Blatche appears renewed by by the opportunity to compete on a winning squad and is shooting 49% while averaging 10.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg
Tune in to YES tonight at 7:00 PM ET to see if Brooklyn can build on their recent success and get some momentum going in the new year.