G34 Brooklyn Nets Tough Road Challenge vs Indiana Pacers
In what became a familiar pattern, the Nets played well for most game against the Jazz only to lose another close game. The encouraging improvement was the collective effort on defense following the players-only meeting.
The Nets will also not have Rondae-Hollis Jefferson (hip) and Jeremy Lin (hamstring) for this game so it will be tougher to pull a win on the road against the Pacers who have won 3 straight games.
In his Jan 3 interview, Jeremy Lin said he was encouraged that his hamstring injury is less severe but offered no timetable of his return. It is likely that the Nets would want to rehab him longer or give limited minutes in extended games to prevent the injury to reoccur.
ESPN.com Game Preview article:
The Pacers are 13-5 at home this season, while the Nets are a miserable 1-16 on the road. These teams have already played twice this season, with each team winning the game they hosted. The Pacers won the last matchup 118-97 on Nov. 25, despite not having George because of an injury.
Jeff Teague has also been hot for Indiana. He has racked up 45 assists in his last four games, and has averaged 15.8 points and 8.6 assists per game since Dec. 1.
“Jeff is really doing a great job,” teammate Myles Turner told the Indianapolis Star. “I feel like everything is starting with him. We’re moving the ball so much better and our offense is starting to come into its own.”
Scoring hasn’t been the problem for the Nets. Their 105.5 points per game is good enough for 12th best in the NBA. Defense, however, has been another story. The Nets are 27th in the NBA in defensive rating, and dead last in overall defense.
KEY OF THE GAME: It would be extremely tough to win the road game against the Pacers who has been playing well recently. But if they can play tough defense and keep the game close, anything can happen.
Let’s hope and pray JLin will recover soon and help the Nets get back on the winning track!
Let’s go, JLin and the Nets!