The Brooklyn Nets start their four game west coast swing in Phoenix, Arizona against the Suns. The Suns are 3-6 but are coming off of a victory against the Pistons Wednesday night. Phoenix and Brooklyn will be coming off of two days rest which should mean that the players are fresh and ready for action.
Neither of these teams are very good, Brooklyn is at 3-5, but Brooklyn has been getting national attention for their tough play and their #BrooklynGrit. Jeremy Lin is still not playing and will not travel with the team on this road trip so he can continue to nurse his hamstring back to full health. Hamstrings are tricky and playing too early could mean it will linger and nag all season, which is not what the Nets want.
Eric Bledsoe is the star of this Phoenix team. He was two assists shy of a triple-double Wednesday against the Pistons. He finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Brooklyn will need to shut him down in order to have a chance at victory. If Bledsoe gets hot, there is not much anyone can do. Also, watch put for Jared Dudley off of the bench. He scored 19 against the Pistons in 30 minutes and hit 4/6 threes. Devin Booker had an off game against Detroit but is averaging over 21 points per game this season. Brooklyn needs to shut down Phoenix’s back court.
Brook Lopez has been on fire for Brooklyn as of late. Phoenix has a mediocre front court, so the Nets should take advantage of that. Feed the ball to Lopez and Booker and let them work their magic. To counter Dudley, Brooklyn used to have Kilpatrick. It will be interesting to see if Justin Hamilton or maybe even Joe Harris or Yogi Ferrell could come off of the bench and provide a spark that could counter the spark that Dudley brought to the Suns. Brooklyn’s bench has been stellar all year with Kilpatrick coming off of it. Who will rise up to take the spot of the scorer and energy-giver off of the bench?
These are both pretty young teams that are at the bottom of their respective conferences. Each team has garnered up three wins, but which one will get their fourth? The young guards of Phoenix will sure provide a test to Brooklyn’s depleted back court. Will the Suns’ front court, though, be able to compete with Lopez and Booker? It will be a fun game to watch as each team’s strengths counter the others’ weaknesses. Out of the four games on this road trip, this is easily the most winnable, and Brooklyn, in my opinion, will win this game.