Brooklyn Nets (16-15, 5-8 road) vs. OKC Thunder (24-6, 16-2 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 113.3 (1st), Nets– 106.2 (11th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.4 (9th), Nets – 106.5 (21st)
Pace: Thunder – 92.5 (8th), Nets – 87.8 (29th)
View from the enemy: The Brooklyn Game
Tonight, Thunder coaching legend P.J. Carlesimo returns to Oklahoma City in what’s assured to be an emotional night at The Peake. What’s that? Oh yeah. The Thunder went 1-12 under Carlesimo, and 20-62 with the Sonics in 2007-08.
It is kind of funny though: Scott Brooks was an interim coach because Carlesimo got fired in OKC. And now Carlesimo is in Brooks’ old spot as an interim.
The Nets are 2-1 under Coach Peej though and seem, I think, to be playing a bit better. Then again, those two wins were against the Bobcats and Cavaliers, so maybe there isn’t much to read into there.
Brooklyn coming in: The Nets just got spanked by the Spurs on Monday.
Three Big Things
1. D-Will. He came out lighting the Thunder up in the first meeting. He’s been stuck in a shooting slump, has been pouting about being tired, griping about the offense and just plain sucking it up. At some point, he’s going to put together a big game. And going against Russell Westbrook, Williams, who is one of those ultra competitive guys, will probably bring his best tonight.
2. Brook. The Nets didn’t have maybe their actual best player in the first meeting, Brook Lopez. He’s a consistent inside scorer and gives the Nets an interior dimension. Against OKC the first time, the Nets fell completely in love with 3-pointers. Assuming Lopez is involved and effective, that should change this time around.
3. Matchups. Gerald Wallace is back, so he’ll be available to defend KD. But the Nets caught the Thunder a bit in the first matchup with a couple smallball groups playing Wallace at power forward. The Thunder adjusted in the fourth quarter, but again, that was without Lopez. How will Carlesimo approach his rotation tonight and will Scott Brooks try and just react to it, or attempt to dictate some?
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Scott Brooks.