NETS GAMENIGHT: #Nets @ #Cavs (Channel MY9)

Updated: April 3, 2013

Brooklyn Nets (42-31) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (22-51)

Quicken Loans Arena 7:00


Brooklyn started their 8-game journey very well at 4-1 and have limped to the finish losing its last two. The Nets lost in Denver on Friday night to the Nuggets 109-87,  and followed that up with a dumper performance against a  bad Utah Jazz team on Saturday 116-107. The defense was abysmal in both performances and must be addressed tonight.  Giving up that many points on the road in back to back games in unacceptable.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 27 points while Deron Williams had 21 points and 11 assists.  The Nets bench kept them in the game all night and combined for 50 points behind a solid 22 points by C.J. Watson.  This is a very important game tonight in Cleveland to complete a 5-3 trip and not go .500 and lose more ground in the playoff hunt.

[blockquote]”This time of the season, no matter what team you’re playing, they’ve been together for a full season, you know, and they’re playing a lot better basketball,” Williams said. “The teams that aren’t in the playoffs, they really don’t have nothing to lose so they go out there and play loose and free so we’ve just got to be focused on coming out and being ready to play every night and not overlooking anybody.”[/blockquote]

With the status of starters Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace heading into Wednesday night’s matchup in question it becomes even more important to win to a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has lost nine straight but should have Kyrie Irving back if all goes well.  That is a big plus for the Cavs in more ways than can be explained.

Kyrie Irving

Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

The Cavaliers are playing out the string and would love to play spoilers as they will miss the playoffs for the third straight season and have lost nine straight, including four in a row at Quicken Loans Arena.  Dion Waiters is out again so that hinders the shorthanded Cavs further.

C.J. Miles made a franchise record tying 8-10 (.800) shots from behind the three point line and finished with a season
high 33 points on 11-15 (.733) shooting in 34 minutes in the last meeting.  The nets h must address the defense right from the start tonight and not give the struggling Cavs confidence that they can win this game.  This game is a MUST.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME: Deron Williams vs Kyrie Irving

Deron Williams and the Nets have won the first two meetings this season with Williams averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 assists.  Williams is playing even better right now then he was in the prior two meetings so this should be a great mathcup with Irving.  D-Will tends to raise his game when he knows the team needs a game desperately and tonight’s game is exactly one of those games.  The best point guards in the league make Williams play better and focus more as well.

Kyrie Irving  returned on Sunday and still couldn’t help the struggling Cavs as they got pummeled Sunday in New Orleans, then lost again in Atlanta on Monday.  Irving is averaging 23.5 and 7.5 in both meetings with the Nets this year, both in losses but is an unstoppable force when he wants to take over a game.  This kid is the future of the NBA and goes to his left better tan he goes to the right and his forays to the baskets are tantalizing.  This will be a good test for Irving after his long absence with an acromioclavicular sprain of his left shoulder.

STAT FOR TONIGHT: Brooklyn has won both of this season’s matchups and three straight over the Cavaliers. The Nets have taken three of their last four in Cleveland as well.


Joe Johnson (right thigh contusion) is OUT

Gerald Wallace (sore left foot) is questionable


Anderson Varejao (vastus medialis split/surgery) is OUT
Dion Waiters (left knee) is OUT

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