For the first time in a long, long, long time the Brooklyn Nets are riding a win steak into an upcoming game. They face a tough opponent in the Washington Wizards, one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference but are riding high after two impressive wins against Detroit and Phoenix. The Nets have been playing some of their best basketball since Jeremy Lin returned from injury post All-Star break and could possibly shock the Wizards at home.
Washington used the trade deadline to retool their lineup to make a good playoff run. Making moves to bolster their bench with former New York Knick Brandon Jennings and former Brooklyn Net Bojan Bogdanovic has put them in prime position to make a deep run in the playoffs if matched up agains the right team. John Wall is one of the premier point guards in the league, Bradley Beal should have been one too, and Otto Porter Jr is probably going to sign a max deal this summer.
If Brooklyn wants to extend their winning streak to three games they will need to prevent John Wall from driving the lane, stop Beal from shooting the Nets out of the gym, and focus on not turning the ball over and letting the Wizards run in transition.
This game is going to be a tough one for the Nets. They have traditionally struggled against dynamic, driving point guards and John Wall isn’t just the epitome of that, he does it at an elite level. Jeremy Lin and Randy Foye are going to have their hands full trying to prevent him from penetrating the lane. It might be best for the Nets to sag off of Wall the entire game and dare him to shoot threes. He is an All-Star and can make you pay sometimes, but that is the best way to try to slow him down.
In addition to everything Wall brings to the table, Bradley Beal is the perfect complement. He can drive the lane but is also an accomplished shooter. Coming out of college, Beal was compared to a young Ray Allen. While he has yet to meet that lofty comparison, he is an incredible shooter and should have made the All-Star team over Carmelo Anthony. Randy Foye will be matched up on him most of the night, but don’t be surprised to see Caris LeVert help on this matchup. His length and athleticism should counter Beal nicely.
Brooklyn needs to focus on not turning the ball over and letting Washington run in transition. Wall, Beal, and Porter all thrive in the open court. They are all extremely good at forcing turnovers then getting out in transition. The Nets will need to limit their chances to run the floor, so taking smart shots and limiting turnovers will need to be the focal point of every timeout tonight.