The 3-1 Charlotte Hornets visit the City that Never Sleeps tonight to take on the 2-3 Brooklyn Nets. The Brooklyn Nets are fresh off of their win against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. The Hornets are also coming off of a victory as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 109-93 also on Wednesday.
The Brooklyn Nets received some terrible news yesterday. Jeremy Lin is out at least two weeks with a strained hamstring he suffered in the first half of Wednesday’s win. That is just about the worst news Brooklyn could have gotten; an injured Jeremy Lin. Hamstrings can be tricky, so let us all hope it will be no more than two weeks and that it does not linger throughout the season.
Isaiah Whitehead came in in relief of Jeremy Lin on Wednesday and did not play well. Only scoring five points and committing five turnovers in 20 minutes is not a good sign hence why he does not seem to be a projected starter for this game.
Sean Kilpatrick has been playing extraordinary off of the bench and it pains me to move him to the starting lineup considering he may be one of those guys that gives the team a much needed spark in a time of need, but he deserves the chance. Maybe Whitehead starts for Lin, RHJ goes to the bench in favor of Kilpatrick. Maybe Kilpatrick replaces Lin and runs the point himself. We will see what lineups Coach Atkinson tinkers with over the course of Lin’s injury.
With the absence of Lin, Brook Lopez needs to keep having nights as productive as he had against the Pistons. Putting up 34 points and bringing down 11 rebounds is the production Brooklyn is paying him for. If Lopez can put up these numbers during Lin’s absence, Brooklyn will have chances to still win some games.
Charlotte has been playing well this season as their record of 3-1 indicates. Kemba Walker has developed into a leader quite nicely. Walker is averaging 23 points per game and 5.5 assists a game and nearly two steals per game as well. Jeremy Lin facing his old team and having the match-up with someone like Kemba really would have been fun to watch.
Jeremy Lin will surely be missed by the Nets the next two weeks, but this is a great time to see what the other role players can do. Joe Harris, Justin Hamilton, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough, Anthony Bennett, and Isaiah Whitehead will all see some more playing time over the course of Lin’s injury. Whomever plays the best will surely earn a permanent increase in their playing time.
This has the makings of a good basketball game despite the absence of Jeremy Lin. Look for the Nets to play around with a multitude of lineups tonight as they figure out how to successfully run their offense without Lin at the helm. They should funnel the ball through Brook down low without Lin. Let your big man making the big bucks lead your team during these tough times.