The Brooklyn Nets got their first road win of the season Saturday night in Phoenix against the Suns. Brooklyn now has a very respectable 4-5 record this season. For those who are counting, the Nets are 20% of the way to Las Vegas’ 20.5 win projection for the season. Not to mention, they have gotten two wins now without a Jeremy Lin. On a side note, Lin was doing workouts in Phoenix Saturday according to his Snapchat.
The Clippers are arguably the toughest test Brooklyn has faced thus far this season. The Clippers have been dominant and have a record of 9-1, leading the entire league. Chris Paul is the league’s best point guard and even Blake Griffin has been producing in ways other than Lob City.
Brooklyn, yet again, shot well over 30 three-point shots in Phoenix. They took 37 of them and made 16 of them for a 43.2 percentage. That is easily one of the better percentages on the season for Brooklyn as they have really only had about a 33% clip on the season thus far. Brooklyn will need the points from long range tonight to compete with the long range shooters of the Clippers.
The largest issue in this game for Brooklyn has to be in the back court. Chris Paul, as said previously, is the best point guard in the league, or at least one of the best. Without Lin, Whitehead, and Greivis Vasquez, Brooklyn will not really have a true point guard to match up with Paul. Paul will seemingly have a dominant game against Brooklyn.
If Brooklyn wants to win this game they will need to find a way to stop Paul from doing Chris Paul things. The only real hope for Brooklyn in that sense seems to be Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. RHJ is a stellar defender and he has even started to produce good stats of late, especially the 20 point and 13 rebound performance in Phoenix.
If RHJ can stop Chris Paul, even in the slightest, there is a chance Brooklyn can remain competitive and win. The next key will be Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker. Los Angeles has big and dominant bodies down low in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Brook Lopez is actually going to need to rebound tonight and Trevor Booker is going to need to play good defense. If Brooklyn’s big men can somewhat compete and shut down the Clippers’ big men, look for a closer game than any ‘expert’ could have imagined coming in.
Brooklyn would love to have Jeremy Lin for this game as it is a hometown game for him and they most certainly need his talent and floor control. Even without him, due to Coach Atkinson’s genius, there is still a chance Brooklyn pulls off the upset. The Clippers are due for a loss, aren’t they?