Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Nets take on the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center
Brooklyn has won six of seven games since P.J. Carlesimo took over as head coach for Avery Johnson. The team will also try to match its longest winning streak of the season (five).
Meanwhile, the Suns, owners of the second-worst record in the Western Conference, are just 2-16 this season playing on the road, having lost 11 straight contests – the longest skis in franchise history since losing 14 straight in 1984.
Johnson, Teletovic Game-Time Decisions
Joe Johnson and Mirza Teletovic did not practice at this morning’s shootaround. Both are battling illness and are game-time decisions for tonight’s game.
That would be a significant offensive loss for the Nets given how both have been shooting well lately. Jerry Stackhouse is already out for the game with a sore hamstring.
Tonight’s game marks the fourth straight against teams under .500. The Nets are 3-0 in the first three. Other than the Spurs and the Thunder, all of Carlesimo’s games have come against teams under .500.
The Nets should be beating these teams soundly, but it is important to play a complete game with the Indiana Pacers set to arrive at Barclays Center on Sunday.
Brooklyn is 13-0 against teams with records under .500, meaning they are winning the games they are supposed to win.
Repeat Third Quarter Success
The Nets had their best overall third quarter of the season Tuesday night against the 76ers. The team shot 14-of-19 from the field and scored 35 points, second-most in a third quarter this season. Philadelphia scored just 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting. Brooklyn also outrebounded the Sixers 14-3.
The Nets have struggled all season in third quarters, but maybe the strong effort Tuesday will turn over a new leaf.
Brook Lopez Looks Great Under Carlesimo
Since Carlesimo took over, Brook Lopez has been on fire. Over the last seven games, Lopez is averaging 22.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He’s also shooting 59.8 percent from the field and consistently knocking down outside shots.
Lopez is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game. His 18.7 points per game ranks him as the highest scoring center in the league.
With these numbers, Lopez might find himself representing the Nets in this year’s All-Star Game in Houston.
Suns Can Reach Milestone with Win
If the Suns get the win tonight, it will be the 2,000th win in franchise history. Phoenix would be the fourth fastest franchise to reach the plateau in NBA history, behind the Celtics, Lakers and 76ers. The Suns have the fourth-best winning percentage in league history at .558.
It’s been a month and half since the Suns last won a road game (Nov. 27 at Cleveland). However, the Suns have won five-straight road games against the Nets dating back to March 27, 2006.
Phoenix has also won nine of the last 11 total meetings against the Nets. But Steve Nash, now currently a Laker, is no longer on the team.
The action tips off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on the YES Network.