The Brooklyn Nets are riding a great wave of momentum going into tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nets are coming off a victory over the Chicago Bulls that evened their record at 29-29 on the season. Now they look to get over that .500 mark with a win against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.
With a win, the Nets can continue to distance themselves from that dreaded seventh and eighth seed that will likely put them on a deadly collision with Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers. They have played the Heat pretty well this season, but the Pacers are a different story. The Nets currently sit in the sixth spot in playoff seeding with a legitimate chance to get as high as third.
The Grizzlies are winners of their last two games and seven of their last 10. The offense seems to be riding a hot streak as they have scored 100 points in five of their last six games. Zach Randolph is still a powerful force inside offensively while Marc Gasol continues his reign as quite possibly the best inside defender in the league.
The Nets cannot match the low post game of the Grizzlies, so they will have to beat them from the perimeter. Joe Johnson and Marcus Thornton will have to have big games if the Nets will have any chance of coming out victorious. Johnson has been in a slump since the All-Star game, and the team needs him to be the player that got him selected to the East squad in the first place.
The health of Kevin Garnett is important as the Nets will need every big body they have to try to force the Grizzlies into early foul trouble and make Randolph and Gasol useless in a game they will most likely dominate.
This is a must-win for the Nets if they want to prove to themselves and the rest of the league that they have what it takes to beat a Western Conference contender, and not just the weak teams in the East. The opportunity is there and all the Nets have to do is take advantage and play the type of basketball that has them in prime position for a deep playoff run.