G11 Brooklyn Nets (4-6) Seeks Another Road Win against LA Lakers (6-5)
The Nets might be completely outmatched by the mighty Clippers 95-127 (who carried the best NBA record 9-1 before the game) sans their two best players (Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez) but Coach Atkinson did the right thing to keep his team fresh for the second straight game tonight against the Lakers by playing 11 players averaging 22 min. It is a great strategic move to focus on getting the 5th win in a winnable game against the young Lakers team.
The Lakers have an improved offense but also had weakness in careless ball-handling (ranked #25) and defense (#25 in Opponent FG% allowed)
Their improved play has been mainly the by-product of their up-tempo offense, a system Walton incorporated here after two seasons with the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers ranked fifth in points per game (108.6) heading into Monday’s games. They also were third in field-goal percentage (47.6), a category they trailed the Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks, two teams they beat earlier this season. Los Angeles also was the third-best free-throw shooting club at 81.7 percent.
However, the Lakers have been careless handling the basketball. They were 25th in turnovers at 16.6 per game before Monday.
They’ve also experienced problems defensively, allowing 107.5 points per game, which ranked 20th. Opponents have shot 46.6 percent (25th) against Los Angeles.
Efficient 3pt shooting has been the key in the Nets win and losses because of the high volume of their 3pt selection. How does it match up with the Lakers?
- Lakers is actually ranked #6 best in defending Opponent 3FG% (32.3%) but interestingly they are very poor ranked #27 in defending Opp FG% (46.6 %) so they might have very weak paint defense despite defending the 3pt line very well.
- Will Coach Atkinson adjust the offense to attack inside through Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker?
KEY OF THE GAME: Will the Nets adjust their 3pt-heavy offense to attack inside exploting Lakers weak interior defense (#27)? If they are successful, they can get their their 5th win and the 2nd road win.
Let’s hope and pray JLin will heal quickly, the Nets will continue their formula of success, play gritty basketball and exploit Lakers interior defense, and most importantly finish the game healthy!
Let’s go, JLin and the Nets!