November 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 106.7FM The Fan
Projected starting lineups:
C- Marcin Gortat, PF- Nene, SF- Trevor Ariza, SG- Bradley Beal, PG- John Wall
C- Brook Lopez, PF- Kevin Garnett, SF- Paul Pierce, SG- Joe Johnson, PG- Deron Williams
Brooke Lopez v. Marcin Gortat
Sure, John Wall versus Deron Williams will definitely be a show, and sure, we’ll definitely be talking about that after the game, but in order for Washington to win this battle, they must commit to protecting the paint. The Nets have been a terrible rebounding team all season, getting outrebounded by double digits in three of their first four games. I’m confident Marcin Gortat can help keep that trend going as he’s been strong on the glass all season long. The key factor here is Gortat’s defense on Brook Lopez, who’s been on off to a pretty good start averaging 20 points a game and six rebounds. Gortat will need to be strong defending post ups with Lopez and remember to respect his range as well. If Gortat can keep Lopez contained below his season averages, Washington should be in position to win.
Bradley Beal. The start to Beal’s season has had me veryy curious about how he’ll play each game and tonight is no different. Beal is slowwwwly coming around to his old self and it’ll be interesting to see if his numbers improve after tonight.
For Trevor Ariza, it’s been a roller coaster ride for him offensively, but he’s been a constant on defense. His on-ball defense is strong, he traps well, and what I’ve known to be his trademark move: cutting off passing lanes. Against the Nets tonight, he’ll get an ample dose of offense to defend when he matches up against Paul Pierce. While Pierce’s floor time has shrunk (27.3 mpg), he sure as hell has remained efficient. In those minutes he averages nearly 16 points on 55% shooting.
What happened last time they played?
In what can be considered one of those forgettable marks on the “Rebuild” timeline, the Nets erased a 17 point deficit, led by Andray Blatche who scored 20 points. The Nets won that game 106-101 with four of their five starters out of the lineup due to postseason preservation. The Wizards were led by John Wall who had 18 points and 12 assists.
For Washington to be on a 2 game winning streak after tonight, they need be sure of two things: maintaining an uptempo pace and controlling the glass. The Nets are not very good in either one of areas. Speed has been known to wear down this aging lineup so we need to see Washington’s fresh legs control the game’s pace all night. Deron Williams has returned from injury and has been playing his way back to normalcy. Wall needs be aware of that and should look to attack more. Quit the jump shots! And as I mentioned once before, Gortat needs to own the glass against Lopez. Prediction..err..hope: Washington learns to play a complete game and gets the best of Brooklyn, winning by 5.