• Sun. May 26th, 2024

 December 12, 2015, Queens, NY  The Nets welcome the Los Angeles Clippers into Barclays Center tonight. The Clippers have been underachieving thus far this season. With 13 wins and 10 losses the Clippers have not lived up to the off-season hype. They brought in Paul Pierce (former Net), enigmatic Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith. The Clippers are coming off a spirited come back victory over the Chicago Bulls. The Nets are coming off a win against a Philadelphia Sixers team that has only won one game this season.

The Nets played well, as a complete unit against the 76ers; they will need to continue this tonight against the Clippers. Brook Lopez will have his hands full as he tries to deal with the combination of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Nets will need contributions from their other starters tonight. Joe Johnson, who is still struggling this season but has played better as of late will need to assert himself tonight. Thaddeus Young has played well all season especially on the defensive end; he will need to continue this tonight.

The Clippers have their all-star guard Chris Paul matching up against his former New Orleans (Hornets) teammate Jarrett Jack. Jack will have to play well and fight through some screens tonight as the Clippers run quite a few high pick and rolls with Paul and Griffin. Jack will also need to be aggressive offensively to keep Paul occupied on both ends of the floor.

The key for the Clippers tonight will be the play of their bench, Stephenson, Pierce and Smith were brought to the team to beef up the Clippers second unit but thus far they have not accomplished this. There have even been rumors of trade talks for Smith and Stephenson. Smith is averaging just under 6 ppg and 4 rebounds, his lowest totals since he has been in the league. Stephenson has also been struggling mightily he has not been productive off the bench; he is averaging 5 points, 2rbs and 1.7 assists per game. Pierce returned to his hometown to finish his career his averaging a career low 4 points and 2 rebounds per game.

The Nets will need to control Chris Paul tonight, they will have to make sure that he does not have easy passing lanes and force him to be more aggressive offensively. Limiting the opportunities that he provides to his teammates. The Nets will also need to rebound the basket ball tonight, the Clippers are 22nd in the league on the boards even though they posses a front court that averages a combined 22 rebounds per game.

Andrea Bargnani returned to the Nets line up against the Sixers after a four game absence due to injury. He had a great game in his return with 23 points and 6 rebounds; if he can duplicate this production tonight he can definitely help the Nets second unit. Shane Larkin also had a good game in his last outing; he had 14points 6 assists; the team and coach Hollins have shown trust in Larkin as he has played well off the bench.

The Nets look to get a big win at The Barclays Center tonight at 5:00pm.

Twitter: sherman@shermangmz1

Email: shermangmz1@gmail.com

Photo:Anthony Gruppso USA Today Sports

By Sherman Gomez

"Basketball is my favorite sport, I like the way they dribble up and down the court." "I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller." "Last week messed around and got a triple double." I write about basketball sometimes and then I try to go play....

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