The Nets will be visiting the Golden State Warriors on Friday night in California in a game that both teams would probably prefer to lose. Both teams are trying to improve their draft lottery positioning right now and neither team has a shot at the playoffs. The Warriors have a record of 20-29, but they are really a much worse team than that. At the trade deadline, they traded their best player, Monta Ellis, to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, an injured center who probably won’t return this year. That trade didn’t make a whole lot of sense, and it destroyed any hope of the playoffs for Golden State.
The Warriors have only won 2 of their last 10 games and are coming off a 15-point home loss to a New Orleans team who was missing what could be their starting lineup in Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, Gustavo Ayon, Emeka Okafor, and Chris Kaman. That’s right, none of those players played, and Golden State still lost by 15 at home. That says one of two things: either they are not trying or they are really, really bad. I think it’s a bit of both.
In addition, the Warriors have plenty of injuries of their own. Stephen Curry, their best player, has missed most of the season and won’t play on Friday. Also, their two best centers, Andrew Bogut and Andris Biedrins, are injured. With those three injuries, their only quality NBA player is David Lee, who isn’t even that good.
The Nets have plenty of injuries themselves, which you can read about here. To sum that up, the two Williams big men, Shelden and Jordan, will be out. Jordan Farmar will also miss this game and he won’t play on the road trip. Anthony Morrow will likely come back and play in this game after missing the last few games due to a shoulder injury. The Warriors are his former team and he might want some revenge against them. However, I don’t really think he hates them that much and it will be a pretty meaningless game for him.
The Nets are coming off arguably their best home win of the season when they beat Indiana, and might actually have more momentum than Golden State, who has just been awful recently. As a Nets fan, I don’t care about getting a win here for pride at all, especially because the Nets are not playing at home. Golden State is still 4.5 games “behind” the Nets in the chase for the #1 pick, but they probably won’t win too many games for the rest of the season, so it is important that the Nets lose this game. Let’s go Warriors.
Deron Williams vs. Nate Robinson. Advantage: Williams
D-Will could have a big night in this game, as the Warriors have absolutely nobody that can guard him, especially with Stephen Curry out. He should be able to get to the basket at will, and expect to see him posting up on Nate Robinson if he attempts to guard Deron. It would not surprise me to see Deron score 30 here.
Marshon Brooks vs. Klay Thompson. Advantage: Thompson
In this matchup between rookies, you would think that Marshon would have the advantage, but he really does not. Klay Thompson has surprised me this year and has become an excellent shooter. Also, he has improved over the course of the season while Marshon has has done the opposite. Over the last month, Thompson has averaged over 16 ppg and has become the best scoring option on this team. Add that to Marshon’s weak defense and tendency to leave open shooters alone, and Thompson could have a big game.
Gerald Wallace vs. Dorell Wright. Advantage: Wallace
Dorell Wright is a lot like Anthony Morrow in that he is a very good shooter and doesn’t do much else. If Crash plays defense similar to how he did against Danny Granger on Wednesday, Wright doesn’t have a chance. But Granger wasn’t a shooter and Wright is, so we may see different results here. However, I still think Wallace will win this matchup. Hopefully he will finally knock down some shots against a very bad defense.
Kris Humphries vs. David Lee. Advantage: Humphries
David Lee is the “star” of the Warriors now that Curry is injured and Ellis was traded, and Lee’s stats do back it up. He is averaging almost 20 and 10, which is better than The Hump. However, I don’t think the stats tell the whole story here. David Lee is one of the softest players in the NBA and The Hump is the opposite of soft. I think he will dominate Lee on the glass, and because of the lack of big men playing in this game, I expect Humphries to get a ton of rebounds, maybe 20. There simply is nobody else rebounding, and Kris is one of the best in the game in that category. You can see why I think The Hump will have such a big game below.
Johan Petro vs. Jeremy Tyler. Advantage: I am too disgusted to say one of these benchwarmers is better than the other
This is as unwatchable as it will ever get in the NBA. Ever. Seriously. For those of you who don’t know about Jeremy Tyler, he was supposed to be the next great big man in the NBA. However, he decided to skip his senior year of high school and his entire college career to play in Israel and Japan. He didn’t play well in either of these places, and this dropped him to the second round of last year’s NBA draft. This year, he has been in between the Warriors and the D-League and has not been able to avoid getting into foul trouble in the NBA. He also has poor offensive skills. He may turn into the next Kwame Brown. The only reason he is playing or starting is because both Andris Biedrins and Andrew Bogut and they have nobody else. Now we all know the Nets’ situation at center. Brook Lopez has been out the whole season, and Shelden and Jordan Williams both got injured in the last game. The last guy left for the Nets is Petro, who is so unwatchable. Luckily for Petro, he will probably never have an easier matchup than Tyler and he may actually have a good game. I don’t even want to think about it.
The Nets will reunite with Richard Jefferson in this game, which is always nice. The former Net was traded to Golden State at the trade deadline, and he is not nearly the player he used to be. He can’t even start for the Warriors at this point in his career. My bold prediction for this game will be a very bold one. I think that Johan Petro will score at least 10 points and have at least 5 rebounds. Even though he is one of the worst players in the NBA, he will have to play at least 25 or 30 minutes with all the injuries, and the Warriors don’t have any good defenders or rebounders. We may see multiple French Flushes in this game. When making my score prediction, I want to pick the Warriors, but I just can’t. They are too terrible. Unfortunately, the Nets will win this game 98-89 in a game that neither team wants to win, and the Nets will take yet another step away from getting a top 3 pick.
Tags: Anthony Morrow David Lee Deron Williams Dorell Wright Gerald Wallace Golden State Warriors Jeremy Tyler Johan Petro Klay Thompson Kris Humphries Marshon Brooks Nate Robinson New Jersey Nets Richard Jefferson