The Brooklyn Nets (48-33) will be at Barclays Center for one final time in the regular season tonight when they host the Detroit Pistons (29-52). The Nets’ reserves are coming off of a very fun win on Monday night in Brooklyn where 7 different players who often don’t see much playing time all scored in double figures. The Nets appear to be playing their best basketball of the season at the right time. Detroit has been out of the playoff race for a long time and now are just trying to gain some momentum heading into next season. In fact, they have won 4 games in a row, although only one win was against a playoff team and only one win was on the road.
Don’t expect Detroit to rest many of their better players in this game. In their last game, they played all of their starters at least 30 minutes. They don’t appear to be trying to tank. The Nets will likely rest most of their key players as they did on Monday and don’t expect anybody to play more than 30 minutes. I am hoping to see a lot more of TOKO.
What is much more important than tonight’s Nets game will be the two games being played by the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls. Atlanta got blown out last night at home to Toronto and they are playing very uninspired basketball right now. Perhaps they don’t want to see the Nets in the first round. With that loss, they fall into a tie with Chicago, and the Bulls own the tiebreaker. Chicago hosts Washington tonight while Atlanta will be visiting Manhattan. Even if Atlanta wins, I will be shocked if Chicago loses at home to the same team that just lost to the Nets’ “B” and “C” teams.
The bottom line is that if Chicago wins, they will face the Nets in the first round of the playoffs, which many Brooklyn fans are not all too happy about.
In most game previews, I will give injuries as well as key matchups to watch for the game. Because nobody has any idea who will be playing for either team, that seems unnecessary tonight. However, expect at least a couple of the players who did not play in Monday’s win over Washington to play tonight.
Prediction: Nets 102, Pistons 96.
It’s the last game of the season, so why shouldn’t it be a Nets win? The Pistons are bad on the road and have nothing to play for. The Nets’ reserves will ride the momentum from Monday’s game into tonight to give Brooklyn a very nice total of 49 wins in its first season.