THIS GAME HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO NYC’S BLIZZARD. It will be made up on April 6.
Team Records: Portland (32-13) at Brooklyn (18-26)
Game Info: 4:30 PM-TV on CSNNW/NBATV, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -6.5
The Skinny: The Blazers travel to Brooklyn as New York faces its biggest snowstorm perhaps ever on Monday. Assuming this game gets played, its a showdown of a Nets team coming off two straight blowout losses that hasn’t won a home game in nearly a month and a Blazers squad revitalized by LMA’s return.
Last Time They Met: The Blazers suffocated the Nets on defense as Lillard scored 28 points and dished out ten assists in a 97-87 Portland victory.
Projected Nets Lineup:
PF-Kevin Garnett (Farragut Academy (HS)-20th Season)-7.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG.
SF-Joe Johnson (Arkansas-14th Season)-15.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.7 APG.
C-Mason Plumlee (Duke-2nd Season)-10.4 PPG, 6.7 RPG, .9 APG
SG-Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia-Rookie)-7.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, .7 APG.
PG-Jarrett Jack (Georgia Tech-10th Season)-11.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.5 APG.
Player to Watch-Joe Johnson (pictured at right)-Joe Johnson has made seven all-star games, and he is probably the least impressive player to ever do so. Its not that Johnson is bad, he’s certainly not, its that he’s never really been that elite and has more been picked by default. Johnson is no longer the scorer he once was but he’s still pretty darn good. He’s a decent rebounder and doesn’t turn the ball over too much. Johnson has never been good on defense and now he’s simply terrible. The best thing for the Nets is that Johnson’s monster contract (he’s the third highest paid player in the NBA) finally expires after next season and Brooklyn will have cap space provided they don’t find someone to take him first.
Did You Know?: The Nets have lost their last two games by 39 to the Clippers and 35 by the Jazz, making them the fifth team in league history to lose consecutive games by 35+ points.
Song of the Day: “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys-One of the signature songs from one of Brooklyn’s best known bands. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-C Robin Lopez (Hand), PF/C Joel Freeland (Shoulder), Questionable-C Chris Kaman (Leg), SF Nicolas Batum (Wrist)
Brooklyn: Out-PF Mirza Teletovic (Blood Clots), Questionable-PG Deron Williams (Ribs)
Re-Evaluating Brooklyn: Over the Hill, and Overpaid
Look, I respect the Nets for going for it before last year, nabbing KG and Pierce in an attempt to make a championship push. It was a complete failure and now they are screwed but it was not the dumbest thing an NBA team has ever done. With Pierce gone and KG playing out the remainder of his contract as a shadow of his former self, the Nets are clearly just hoping to ride out the shit storm that they created by building a team made up of players that were overpaid and long past their prime. If only they hadn’t traded two future first rounders (2016 and 2018) to Boston they might be able to get back out of their misery soon. As it is, they are terrible and likely to stay that way for a while.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: Win points in the paint. The Nets are a soft team at this point. If the Blazers can pound them inside, they should be able to win.
Brooklyn wins if: Score 100 points. The Nets are not a good offensive team, but if they can find a way to get to 100 points (as they have only two times this January), they should be able to prevail since their defense is okayish.