While heavy rain and high winds batter Brooklyn, the Lakers and Nets will battle inside Barclays Center on the eve of Thanksgiving. This will be their first matchup of the 2013-14 season.
The 4-10 Nets and the 7-8 Lakers both played games away from home last night. Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry were all sidelined with injuries.
But the shorthanded Nets put forth a maximum effort and won in Toronto 102-100, breaking a season-high, five-game losing streak. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for 28 points, which is the most they’ve tallied since arriving in Brooklyn.
The Lake Show sans the newly-extended Kobe, whose 2-year extension makes the Mamba the first player in NBA history to play for the same franchise for 20 years, lost to the Wizards 116-111. Former Net Jordan Farmar scored a team-high 22 points off the bench.
Both sides have had to persevere without key players this young season. Lakers’ coach Mike D’Antoni has had to count on a bunch of his secondary guys to make up for the huge statistical and emotional hole left by Bryant’s absence due to the ruptured Achilles tendon he’s been nursing since last April.
And on the opposing bench, first-year Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd, already under intense media scrutiny, has been forced to juggle lineups and rotations with starters Lopez and Williams out six and three games respectively with left ankle injuries.
In addition, with the influx of super-veterans KG, Pierce, Terry and Kirilenko, Coach Kidd and his staff have been forced to carefully dole out minutes and make calculated decisions regarding resting these “Greybeards” on particular nights so as to keep their tanks as full as possible come the second half of the schedule.
However, with expectations sky-high heading into this season mixed with the team’s slow start and injuries, Kidd and company may be forced to right the ship ASAP with recalibrated, extended playing time for their players born in the seventies.
Tonight’s 48 represents the second half of back-to-back games for both teams. The Lake Show at 0-3 and the Brooklyn Ballers at 0-2 have yet to notch a W in the rigorous second game of a set. In fact, the last time the Nets faced this scenario, KG & PP participated in the first game and sat out game number 2.
Tune in to YES at 7:30 PM ET to see if Brooklyn can break the Lakers’ 10-game win streak over their franchise and pick up their first home win in four games.