They’ve suffered injury after injury, yet the team continues to push the envelope on turning their season around. Deron Williams is out at least a week with his fragile ankles, and the Nets will have to find a way to push on without him again. Joe Johnson has picked up the slack the last few games, and he must continue to do so in order for the Nets not to slip further into the basement of the Eastern Conference.
The Golden State Warriors are one of the hottest newcomers to the upper echelon of teams in the league. They have great outside shooters in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson mixed in with a great defensive wing player in Andre Iguodala. The middle is protected by a scoring and rebounding force in David Lee and a defensive beast in Andrew Bogut. They put the league on notice last season with their run in the playoffs, and they haven’t slowed down yet this season.
Without Williams the Nets will have a problem trying to contain the dynamic backcourt duo of Curry and Thompson. Shaun Livingston has the length, but that will not be enough to put the clamps on Curry. Mark Jackson stood in Jason Kidd‘s position in his first year as coach, but he weathered the storm and guided the Warriors into the playoffs. Now Kidd is trying to do the same, but he only has a small window with the current unit he possesses.
Small-ball will get you past a few teams, but the Warriors are not one of them. The Nets will have to pound them in the paint if they have a chance to extend their wining streak to four games. Kevin Garnett will have to play his best game as a member of the Nets if they are to have a fighting chance tonight.
If it comes down to a last second shot, either Johnson or Curry will step up and lead their teams to victory.