The Brooklyn Nets are back in action at Barclays Center today when they will battle the Orlando Magic in the finale of a rare two-games in three-nights home-and-home series.
The Nets are coming off of a decisive victory over the Magic on Friday night, when it defeated the Magic by a final score of 107-68.
The Nets will look to make it two in a row this afternoon.
Here’s the pregame primer…
In his pregame press conference, coach Avery Johnson talked about taking care of the basketball. He referred to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons as a team that has taken care of the ball and has seen success as a result. When the Nets lost to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, they allowed the Heat to turn turnovers into easy transition baskets and that’s something they limited on Friday. Johnson would like to see a repeat of that this afternoon.
“Both of the teams that have the best record in the NFL, they take care of the football,” he said. “It’s the same thing in basketball, if we take care of the basketball, it helps your transition defense, offensively, you get more shots at the basket, you get more free-throws, you get more offensive rebounds.”
Joe Johnson’s Ball Movement
The Nets are at their best when they move the basketball out of double teams and get open shots. In the last game against the Magic, Jerry Stackhouse showed that he can still score and along with Joe Johnson and Mirza Teletovic, should provide the Nets with some much needed open shot making.
Thus far, coach Johnson says that he thinks his team needs to share the ball a bit more and that will be one of the keys in today’s game.
“One of the things we’re working with Joe on is reading defenses… In one of our recent losses, there were times when he had three guys on him,” coach Johnson said. “Now, he’s got C.J. and Deron on the perimeter or he’s got Brook inside, so he can move it. I think it’s just a trust factor and a chemistry factor.”
Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks Are Out
Walace and Brooks are both unavailable for today’s game and both are nursing ankle injuries. Coach Johnson wouldn’t commit to a specific return date for either, saying that he usually prefers to have players return from injury get at least one or two practices in before making a return to the court.
It seems likely that both will return this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday night when the Nets play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“…Gerald has been out and I gotta get him through a full practice and recover,” he said. “Then he can be released to play. It has nothing to do with the opponent.”
Johnson echoed the same for Brooks.
Deron Williams – To Score, or Not To Score?
Thus far on the young season, Deron Williams is scoring just 15.8 points per-game and taking just 12.3 shots per-game. If the Nets are to be successful, they’ll need Williams to score a bit more. That’s something coach Johnson realizes and will try to get going this afternoon.
“…There are times when he’s trying to force the ball into Brook because that’s what I want him to do,” coach Johnson said. “But then there are times when we’ve run things specifically for him because we want him to score… There are times when we want him to be extra aggressive because he is a terrific scorer.”
On Friday night, the Nets outrebounded the Magic, 48-35. If they are able to win the battle on the glass, they’ll almost certainly walk out of Barclays on Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 record.
Check back after the game for the SNYNets.com Rapid Recap.