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The Brooklyn Nets are on their first winning streak of the season after a solid win over the Suns. They face a much greater challenge in another road game, this time against the 2nd seed Denver Nuggets. Here are some things to watch for as the Nets look to extend their winning streak to three.

Carroll’s Return

DeMarre was a key cog throughout the 2017-18 season for Brooklyn. He averaged the most minutes and was one of the team’s best 3-point shooters. His defense and leadership are also qualities he’ll provide in spades upon his return.

Carroll’s recovery provides a welcome dilemma for Atkinson and the coaching staff. The Nets already boast enviable depth and with the veteran forward’s return that only gets greater. It’ll be interesting to see how Kenny distributes his minutes as the veteran progresses in his return from ankle surgery.

While DeMarre’s return provides plenty of benefits, he won’t be producing much at this early stage of his return. If he can play 15-20 minutes, the Nets staff would be more than happy. Right now at his best, he’s a more capable version of Jared Dudley. Dudley has exceeded expectations so far but being able to lessen his load is only going to be positive.

Defense

The Nets have had their two best defensive showings in the last two games, keeping Phoenix to 82 points and Philadelphia to 97 points respectively. They haven’t just been limiting scoring they’ve also been forcing turnovers at a high rate.

As they come up against one of the form teams in the league they’ll face an uphill battle of doing the same.

Nikola Jokic had an unusually quiet night from the floor against the Grizzlies only taking one field goal attempt (the final shot of the night) for the entire game. Allen and Davis will have their work out in containing him. If they can get him in early foul trouble, like he was against Memphis, it should make all the difference.

Denver is a deeply talented offensive beast. While they’ve had their issues in that area they have depth at all positions and players who can make and create their own shot quite well. With not only Jokic but Jamal Murray coming back down to Earth after a down performance against Memphis he’ll be motivated to redeem himself in a similar fashion to what he produced against Boston.

Backcourt Battle

Gary Harris & Jamal Murray vs Caris LeVert & D’Angelo Russell. All of those four have immense upside and have only begun to scrape their on-court potential. The duo who can gain the ascendancy will go a long way to netting their team the W.

Caris LeVert’s early season form has been stunning, to say the least. There have been highlights aplenty to go with the consistency that is turning him into a young star on the rise.

Gary Harris will have his hands full limiting his effectiveness. If LeVert can bring the heat on both sides of the floor as he did against Phoenix there’s not many who can stop him.

Caris’ improving defensive intensity was on show against Denver Booker the other night. Jamal Murray will have a tough time finding his shot if his opponent can continue his form on that end. Admittedly, Murray’s incredible skill set will require more than just individual acumen from LeVert to nullify him.

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