FRATELLO AND EAGLE DISCUSS PLAYOFFS
Mike and Ian talk about the Nets’ playoff matchup with the Raptors and give a review of the regular season.
Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Nets’
FRATELLO AND EAGLE DISCUSS PLAYOFFS
With the playoffs fast approaching, tonight’s third matchup of the year between the Nets and Bobcats carries important implications for both sides.
19th-year super-vet Kevin Garnett has missed the last nine Nets contests with back spasms and will be in street clothes again when the 33-35 Charlotte Bobcats come to Brooklyn this evening.
However, during this Big Ticket-less span, the rest of coach Jason Kidd’s guys have stepped up, going 7-2 over this period. And with a victory tonight, the 34-31 Nets will have won 10 in a row at Barclays Center.
Brooklyn currently sits in the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference, only 2 games behind the Bulls. The once and future Hornets franchise, in the 7th slot, trails the Nets by 2.5 games and has a 5.5 game lead over the 9th place Knickerbockers with only 14 games left to play.
The first game between these two squads took place in Charlotte on November 20th, and the home team prevailed 95-91. Charlotte was led by G Kemba Walker with 31 points and 4 for 7 from downtown. Back-up center Andray Blatche came off the bench for 25 points and 7 boards.
In the second 48 on February 12th in Brooklyn, the Nets hammered the Bobcats 105-89 behind a blistering third quarter in which they outscored Charlotte 35-19. On that wintry evening, Paul Pierce put up 25 points, going 9 for 11 and a perfect 5-5 from the arc in only 22 minutes of court-time.
Brooklyn last played on St. Patrick’s, besting the visiting Suns 108-95. All five of the Nets starters scored in double figures with PG Deron Williams leading the charge with 28 points on 11-13 shooting. Charlotte had won four in a row before dropping a home game to Atlanta 97-83 on Monday.
To serve the Bobcats another loss, Brooklyn will have to contain Charlotte big man Al Jefferson, who leads their team in scoring and rebounding at 21.3 and 10.4 respectively. With no KG and Brook Lopez for the season, look for the Bobcats to stress Jefferson’s wily inside power game tonight.
Ryan Ruocco and I will be back in the booth for another big game at Barclays Center. Tune in to YES Network at 7:30PM ET to see if the Nets will continue their winning ways in Brooklyn.
Perhaps my lucky clover glasses had something to do with the Nets’ win over the Suns on St. Patrick’s Day.
When the 2013-14 season kicked off in autumn, many orbiting the hoopshere predicted that the Brooklyn Nets would battle the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
After all, adding the Big Ticket, The Truth, AK-47 and JET to the formidable triumvirate of Lopez, Johnson and Williams would surely get the Nets somewhere close to the East’s pole position. Whispers of the first NBA Championship in Metro NY since 1973 were heard on subway platforms from Brooklyn Heights to Bensonhurst.
However, the realities of age, injuries, team chemistry and new roles took their collective toll on first-year coach Jason Kidd’s squad. Brooklyn stumbled out of the gate, going 5-14 in the first quarter of the season.
But with the new year came a revitalized and more tenacious group. Despite losing All-Star center Lopez for the season, Brooklyn is 22-9 in 2014, better than every other team in the East during this 2.5 month period.
And with 75% of the schedule behind them, the Nets have climbed above .500 to 32-30, good for a solid 6th seed. Though nowhere near where they thought they’d be at this juncture, Brooklyn is starting to resemble a scary, poised opponent.
Tonight the Nets and Heat will battle in the third of four 48′s this season. Brooklyn bested LeBron and friends in the prior two meetings, once in the Orange State and once in the Empire State.
At 44-17 Miami is second in the East, 1.5 games behind Indiana. On Monday night at home they ended a 3-game losing streak, topping the upstart Wizards 99-90. MVP James led his team with 23 points, 8 dimes, 7 boards and 3 steals.
With 21 games remaining in the regular season, Miami has time to catch the Pacers and will try to make a statement on their homecourt. The Heat have the league’s second-best home mark at 25-4, while Brooklyn is just 12-19 away from Barclays this season.
19th-year veteran Garnett has missed the past six games for the Nets and will also miss tonight’s big test. Andrei Kirilenko was ruled out due to a sprained right ankle and will miss his second straight game.
Tune in to the YES Network at 7PM ET to see if the Nets can be the rare team to win the season series against this Miami juggernaut. Ian Eagle and I will be back in the booth, and Sarah Kustok will join us from the sidelines!