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2013-2014 Game 48 Preview: Rolling Thunder take on Scorching Nets

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The Nets are 11-2 since January 1st, including a win over the Thunder. Can OKC recover tonight?

Hannah Horvath is cool with Adams, but demands to know where Westbrook is. He's kind of a hipster icon.
Hannah Horvath is cool with Adams, but demands to know where Westbrook is. He's kind of a hipster icon.
William Bennett Berry
2013-2014 NBA Season
Won 9

Lost 1
January 31st, 2014
The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York City, New York
7:00 PM Central Standard Time
TV: Entertainment Sports Programming Network, Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM/640 AM), WFAN 660 AM 101.9 FM
Injury Report: Russell Westbrook (Out), Andrei Kirilenko (Questionable), Brook Lopez (Out)
Previous Matchups: Jan 2nd (Nets Lead Season Series 1-0)
Probable Starters
Reggie Jackson PG Shaun Livingston
Thabo Sefolosha SG Alan Anderson
Kevin Durant SF Joe Johnson
Serge Ibaka PF Paul Pierce
Kendrick Perkins C Kevin Garnett
2013/14 Advanced Stats
98.0 (7th) Pace 93.6 (27th)
107.6 (5th) ORtg 103.1 (17th)
98.8 (3rd) DRtg 105.1 (20th)

Okay so I'm late to the game on this preview, and I'm fresh out of ideas on how to make it fresh. So I'm just going to post a few quick thoughts I have about the game below.

  • The Nets finally have an identity. They're a small team, but they don't like to run and gun. Instead, they like to grind it out with their opponent, using their small size to get mismatches offensively and doing their best to force turnovers defensively.
  • Since January 1st, the Nets are 11-2, with impressive wins over Dallas, Miami, Golden State, and Oklahoma City.
  • Shaun Livingston, Mirza Teletovic, and Alan Anderson are all experiencing career revivals. Their success is up and down, but they've performed more consistently than some of the big names to hit Brooklyn.
  • Scott Brooks used some really puzzling lineup choices in the last game, playing Fisher, Sefolosha, and Perkins at the same time.
  • When the Thunder played the Nets last, they were experiencing problems getting KD the ball in the right spots during the fourth quarter, and made their offense entirely reliant upon him. Meanwhile, the Thunder resorted to jacking up tons of threes when things got bad.
  • The Nets are awesome at spacing the floor on defense, and did a great job of denying Ibaka the ball last time.
  • The Nets aren't exactly going to kill the Thunder with speed and positioning like the 76ers, Hawks, and Heat. But moving the ball on offense is still going to be essential, because the Nets will trap you.
  • Since the new year, both of the Nets losses have come to Toronto. There's nothing overly remarkable about those games, but the Nets did lose the battle of the offensive glass on both occasions.
  • Kevin Durant still needs to continue his streak of 30 point games.
  • Check out this article for some info on how Deron Williams is starting to work as an off-guard, and how that role served him extremely well in the Nets game against OKC.
  • Joe Johnson and his game winners can simmer down.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 99, Brooklyn Nets 95.

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