This game against Portland as well as the Nuggets game tomorrow are what I like to call “barometer games.” They are games that can give the team, as well as the fans, an idea of how they stack up against the quality caliber teams in this league. Portland is regarded as arguably a top 5 team in the NBA. Their offense is potent, which is evidenced by their offensive rating of 108.6
, good for 3rd in the league. They are also the highest scoring team in the league, putting up 107.7 ppg
. Also of note, the Blazers rank 5th in the NBA in rebound %
. The Nets, well they rank 28th
. Thankfully, the Nets will have KG’s services against Portland, who makes the Nets one of the better defenses in the league by himself. LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 23.9 ppg and 11.4 rpg, is expected to miss his fifth straight game due to a strained left groin, which is good news if you’re a Nets fan. Portland is playing in their second of a back-to-back, which bodes well for a Nets squad after having 2 days rest since their last game. With LaMarcus Aldridge likely out and the Trail Blazers coming off a back-to-back, the Nets need to capitalize tonight. Beating Portland in their own building is more realistic than ever.
Our trade deadline acquisition from Sacramento looks ready to suit up for the first time as a Brooklyn Net. I’m eager and excited to see what elements he adds to this roster. An added scoring punch off the bench may be just what the Nets need in order to keep up with Portland. He may be on a bad contract (8 mil over the next two years
), but this team is in win-now mode. If he can add some scoring off the bench and stretch the defense with his outside shooting, then I congratulate Billy on the move. If he continues to shoot under 40% and doesn’t fit into the offensive schemes, he becomes nothing more than an expiring contract at next year’s trade deadline. Depending on the minutes Kidd gives him, we may quickly find out the type of player we received in this set of back-to-backs.
This is the Deron Williams we have all been waiting for, Nets fans. His pre/post All-Star break numbers are very telling.