Game 15: Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers

This will be a different Nets/Lakers matchup than we are used to as both Kobe and D-Will will be out Wednesday night. AP Photo.

This will be a different Nets/Lakers matchup than we are used to as both Kobe and D-Will will be out Wednesday night. AP Photo.

Los Angeles Lakers (7-8)
Wesley Johnson, F
Jordan Hill, F
Pau Gasol, C
Jodie Meeks, G
Steve Blake, G

Brooklyn Nets (4-10)
Paul Pierce, F
Kevin Garnett, F
Andray Blatche, C
Joe Johnson, G
Shaun Livingston, G

Time/TV/Radio: 7:30 p.m., YES Network, WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM

INJURIES: For the Nets, Brook Lopez (ankle), Deron Williams (ankle), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee) are all listed day-to-day and will be out tonight. For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant (achilles), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) are out. Chris Kaman is listed as doubtful, but coach Mike D’Antoni said that he expects that he will play.

LOSING STREAK: As the Nets try for their first winning streak of the season, they will be going up against a team that has beaten them in their last 10 meetings. The Nets last win against the Lakers was way back on Nov. 25, 2007 and have not beaten them at home since 2006.

NOT THE SAME LAKERS: Even though the Lakers have had the Nets’ number in recent history, this is a very different Lakers team then we are used to seeing. Not only are they without Kobe tonight, but their current roster accounts for just 27.8 percent of their scoring in their two wins against the Nets last year (Nash is injured and Earl Clark, Chris Duhon, Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison, Darius Morris and Metta World Peace are all gone).

BLATCHE KEEPS GOING: Andray Blatche has continued to step up after a slow start. In his first eight games he averaged just 6.1 points with 37.7 percent shooting and in his last six he has averaged 16.0 points on 58.4 percent shooting.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive,” Blatche said after Tuesday’s game where he scored 24 points. “I’m not thinking, just playing the game. If I have a chance to go to the hole, I’m going to drive.”

JOHNSON TAKING OVER: Joe Johnson has also stepped up his game recently. He scored a Nets career-high 34 points against the Pistons on Sunday and has averaged 27.5 points on 52.8 percent shooting and 73.3 percent behind the arc. He’s not had a better two-game stretch on the Nets.

IN THE PAINT: The Nets are now 3-1 when they outscore their opponents in the paint after Tuesday night’s victory and the Lakers are 29th in the NBA on points in the paint defense so look for them to try to exploit that matchup again tonight.

EUROPE’S 2ND BEST: Pau Gasol is 10 points away from passing Detlef Schrempf as the second-best leading scorer from Europe (with Dirk Nowitzki being no. 1). Gasol currently has 15,752 points which is 18th among active players and 104th in the NBA’s history.

BENCH MOB: While the Nets bench looked to have the potential as one of the top in the association this year, it’s been the Lakers who have had the best. In 14 of their 15 games, the Lakers’ bench as outscored opponents and they average 46.3 bench points per game. Seven different bench players have scored at least 10 points for the Lakers this season.

THREE THREAT: Another strength of the Lakers has been their three shooting. They rank 4th in the NBA with a 40.7 shooting percentage behind the arc and have attempted the 4th most threes per game at 25.2 on average, hitting the 2nd most at 10.3 makes per game. Jodie Meeks (47.9 percent) and Steve Blake (45.6 percent) have been their best long-distance shooters as they rank 11th and 17th in the association respective in threes made.

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