Time/TV/Radio: 7:30 p.m., YES Network, WFAN 660/101.9 FM
Officials: Tony Brothers, Kevin Cutler, Brian Forte
WALKING WOUNDED: The Nets get a couple of players back tonight, but Deron Williams (ankle), Brook Lopez (ankle) and Andrei Kirilenko (back) are still out. Kirilenko is working out again and will be with the team this week which is a positive sign, but there is no time table for return for any of them.
“I gotta go with the guys that can suit up,” Jason Kidd said. “Our health will get better in time. Brook, Deron and AK are younger so hopefully they’ll recover quicker.”
Here is what Kidd had to say about the return of KG and Pierce: “It’s good for them to be out there and it’s good for us because their leadership is needed.”
INJURED BLAZERS: The Trail Blazers only have two injuries. Meyers leonard is listed as “questionable” with gastroenteritis and C.J. McCollum is out with a fractured left foot.
RE-ENERGIZED: J-Kidd said that, despite only splitting the back-to-backs over the weekend, he liked the energy he saw in the team. “The two games we just had we have to build off of. We fought and showed that we’re hungry.”
EVANS GETS A START: Reggie Evans, not Andray Blatche is out there among the starters tonight. Here’s Kidd’s explanation: “Reggie is one of our backup centers, that’s why. When you look at the rotation, with KG back, Andray will be in early anyway.”
KIDD STILL LEARNING: “You are always learning as this is brand new for me,” Kidd said. “In my 19 years of playing, basketball doesn’t change though. As a coaching staff we are learning and adjusting to each other too just like the players are. It’s a process, but we feel that we are close.”
VERSATILITY OF AA: With so many players hurt right now, and this season, swingman Alan Anderson has been much more important to this team than anyone has expected. “His versatility has been huge. We saw it in the preseason and we’re seeing it now on both offense and defense.”
MORE ACTIVE KIDD: “Standing up, helping my guys defensively or offensively, if they need me to stand then that’s what I’ll do. It was something I just thought that maybe they needed. If that’s what they need then that’s what I have to do. I tried to continue that in the Clipper game, but I have to get into shape. That’s a lot of standing and those aren’t basketball shoes I’m wearing. I’m getting more comfortable in the situation.
NO MATCHUP OF BROTHERS: One of the most famous highlights from last season was when Brook Lopez posterized his brother Robin Lopez. With Brook out that unfortunately means that there will be no re-match between them. Robin will still be starting at center for the Trail Blazers.
POINTS IN THE PAINT: The Portland Trail Blazers are ranked last in points in the paint defense, a category where the Nets have been much more successful when they beat a team in the paint. Without Lopez, this is where Blatche and Mason Plumlee really need to step up.
THIRD QUARTER KEY: The Nets are 3-0 when they out play their opponents in the third quarter and 0-6 when they don’t making it their most pivotal quarter for them.