G10 Vastly Improving Nets (4-5) Face the Best NBA team, LA Clippers (9-1)
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A vastly improving Brooklyn Nets team managed to win their first road game with scorching 3pt shooting (43.2%) against the Suns to improve to 4-5 record, which is good for 9th in the Eastern Conference. The 3pt shooting efficiency continues to be the key in all 4 Nets wins (39.2% 3FG) and 5 losses (28.6% 3FG) because the Nets take so many 3pt shots in their offense. The Nets is ranked 3rd in the league in 3pt shots attempted per game (34.2) behind Houston and Cleveland.
But they will face the toughest opponent in LA Clippers who holds the best NBA record at 9-1 in a first game of a back-to-back game, with LA Lakers (6-5) waiting the next day.
The Clippers (9-1) will go for their seventh win in a row Monday night when they host the Brooklyn Nets.
Over the weekend, Los Angeles capped a two-game trip with back-to-back wins at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday and at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. By beating the Thunder, the Clippers avenged their lone loss, an 85-83 decision at home on Nov. 2.
Although the Thunder snapped the Clippers’ string of holding seven consecutive opponents less than 100 points in a 110-108 setback Saturday, Los Angeles wouldn’t be deterred en route to its fifth straight decision away from home in a 119-105 romp over the Timberwolves.
The Clippers are off to a franchise-best start and lead the league in several defensive categories, including points allowed (91.5 per game), defensive efficiency (92.7) and opponents’ shooting percentage (40.6 percent).
Offensively, they are averaging 107 points, a differential of 15.1, which also is tops in the NBA.
It would be interesting to see if Coach Kenny Atkinson makes a strategic decision to not play too minutes for all his players against the Clippers as the top team so they are well rested to try to win the game against the Lakers the next night. It would be prudent to think of this game as a development since it would be very difficult to win this game.
Furthermore, Jeremy Lin is recovering well from his hamstring injury by participating in afternoon shootaround before the Suns game but it is doubtful if he will come back early against the Lakers. The Nets will take extra precaution before Lin is ready to play again. He continued to mentor Sean Kilpatrick and Yogi Ferrell in their PG development in the Suns game from the sideline.
KEY OF THE GAME: Can the Nets continue their hot 3pt shooting at 39.2% in all their 4 wins? The Clippers is ranked #16 in allowing opponent 3P% at 34.4%, one spot behind the #15 Nets at 34.3% so they might have a competitive game if they manage to shoot exceptionally well from the 3pt-land.
Let’s hope and pray JLin will heal quickly, the Nets will continue their formula of success, play gritty basketball and hit their 3s together as a team, and most importantly finish the game healthy!
Let’s go, JLin and the Nets!