New Jersey arrives in Sac for the 3rd game of a 4 game road trip. They have a record of 4-7 with 2 road victories and 2 at home including their 106-100 win over the Kings on Oct. 29th. In the 9 games since their win over the Kings, the Nets have scored over 91 points only 2 times; in their 95-87 win over Cleveland and their 110-96 win over the Clippers. But, in their last 6 losses they have held their opponents to an average of 95.5 ppg. And, they lost to CHA & CLE by only 2 pts and to ORL by only 1. So, they could very easily be 7-4.
In the Kings loss in NJ, the Kings won the points in the paint, the fast break points, and the offensive boards, and in spite of the Nets 26 turnovers the Nets were able to pull off the win by shooting 52.5% Field, 54.5% from 3, and 36-45 for 80% from the FT line. Lopez & Harris combined for 50 pts, Outlaw had 18, and Favors chipped in for 10/7 off the bench.
It was Tyreke’s first game of the season, after sitting out his one game suspension, and he looked as good as we hoped with 18/4/7. Beno Udrih shot 5-15 for 14pts from the floor but struggled on the defensive end against Harris and Jordan Farmar. Dalembert was just starting to play after his groin injury and only played 6 ½ minutes. DeMarcus started and played 21 minutes before fouling out with 3:30 left in the 4th quarter, and NJ went on to outscore us 17-3 after that.
The Nets are the 5th worst FG% team just ahead of the Knicks and Pistons, but unfortunately we made those teams look good with our defense. From 3pt range the Nets are an above average team, with a team average of 37%. Their top 3pt shooters in attempts are Anthony Morrow, Travis Outlaw, and Jordan Farmar, but Outlaw is the only one shooting at a high percentage. A very high percentage of 50% on 42 attempts, so our SF’s better stay home on him.
New Jersey is playing their starters extended minutes usually around 35 mpg, with Favor and Farmar coming off the bench for a minimum of 20 mpg. And, Troy Murphy who started 4 games early this month has only seen 8 minutes in one of the last 4 games.
With PW’s new lineup of Dalembert, Landry, Head, Evans, & Greene (who only saw 3:33 in the last loss), we should have a few better matchups than in our last meeting. I like Heads defense against Harris and Dalembert experience should have a bigger effect on Lopez’s game than Cousins did playing on only his 2nd NBA game. But, Donte is going to have to avoid trying to help off of Outlaw, and leave him open for a three point shot.
This isn’t a game where our bench can beat their bench to pull out the win. Our bench is going to be playing against a lot of their starters. This means that Beno could still have to face Farmar or Harris, and without help from his teammates, that looks like a matchup we can’t win. The matchup between Cousins and Favors was a letdown last time with both players trying to get the feel of playing the NBA game. But, since this will be their last meeting this season, I’m looking for both to try and put on a show. Overall, I like the Kings to win a close low scoring game.