Tonight, the Brooklyn Nets will host the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center one night after Brooklyn blew out the Bobcats at home. This will be P.J. Carlesimo’s second game head coaching the Nets. He made few adjustments to ex-Coach Avery Johnson’s lineups last night and it will be interesting to see if he makes any changes tonight.
The Cavaliers are now 7-24 after losing to the Atlanta Hawks last night and Brooklyn now sits at one game over .500, 15-14. The Cavs are dead last in team assists, blocks, and opponent shooting efficiency.
Injuries: Luckily for Brooklyn, the Cavaliers are without Anderson Varejao (bruised right knee), who torched the Nets for a career high 35 points and 18 rebounds in a November 13th game that the Nets won. Daniel Gibson is out too. Cleveland will however have Kyrie Irving, unlike the last time these teams met.
Deron Williams vs. Kyrie Irving. Advantage: Irving.
Irving is having a great year scoring-wise, averaging 23.2 points a game. His 5.5 per game are low, but he doesn’t have the greatest supporting cast by any stretch. Williams still seems injured or scared of injury and has struggled defensively this year. He scored nice baskets last night though, and he might be able to get hot tonight.
Joe Johnson vs. Dion Waiters. Advantage: Johnson.
Waiters is very young at 21 years old and is only 6’4, much smaller than Joe Johnson. Johnson should be able to score whenever he has the slightest motivation to do so tonight because Waiters should not be able to defend him.
Gerald Wallace vs. Alonzo Gee. Advantage: Wallace.
Gerald Wallace will almost certainly out-hustle the unimpressive Alonzo Gee tonight.
Brook Lopez/Andray Blatche vs. Tristan Thompson/Tyler Zeller. Advantage: Lopez/Blatche
Defensively, the young Zeller stands no chance tonight. Thompson might be able to score a lot of dunks tonight if Kyrie Irving is able to break down the Nets’ defense tonight. Lopez had a great double-double against the Bobcats last night and should have no trouble getting his way into the paint tonight.
Keith Bogans vs. Jeremy Pargo/C.J. Miles. Advantage: None
Bogans knocked down a few early threes last night and has shot well from beyond the arc the past few weeks. Pargo and Miles will probably score a few points tonight.
Prediction: Nets 95, Cavaliers 86.
The Nets should win tonight because the Cavs are a much worse team. The Cavs may wind up hanging around in this game, though.