- Teams: Detroit Pistons (7-17) at Brooklyn Nets (12-9)
- Date: December 14, 2012
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Television: FSD
What to look for
The Brooklyn Nets finally got back to their winning ways on Wednesday night after defeating the Raptors in Toronto. Prior to their victory against the Raps, the Nets had been struggling to win games as evidenced by a five-game losing streak.
Granted, it’s worth noting that some of those losses came against some of the stiffest competition in the league: at Miami, versus Oklahoma City, Golden State, Milwaukee and New York.
The Nets are actually a good basketball club, but injuries to key players have hurt them to some degree.
On paper, one would believe that the Nets have perhaps one of the top three backcourts in the league with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Both are good scorers, decent post up options and solid playmakers; thus they have the ability to control games from the opening tip.
Mind you, no team has ever been a legit championship contender simply on the strength of their guard play, but that’s how Nets view themselves to some extent thanks in large part to their big money roster that centers around the talents of Brook Lopez.
Although he has been out of the lineup as of late due to injury, he is scheduled to make his return tonight against the Pistons and it’s interesting to see if he will be the player that he was for Brooklyn prior to the injury.
Through 14 games played so far this season, the Stanford product is sporting a career high PER of 23.6.
The improvements in his production this season have been subtle but present nonetheless. He has improved his rebounding rate (second best of his career), cut down on his turnovers and improved his shooting percentages by reducing his amount of long-range shots in favor of taking the most shots of his career on average at the rim.
Not only is Lopez getting more looks near the basket, but he is also converting a career high 72.7 percent of his shots at the basket according to Hoopdata.
Some are torn on whether the Brooklyn Nets can challenge the Knicks for the rights to battle the Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference crown, but any discussion on that focuses on that very topic must revolve around Brook Lopez.
The big man is the key to it all, and tonight the Pistons will get their first look at the Nets on the hardwood.
Considering that Lopez was suffering from a foot injury, one would have to think that he will see limited action, but his impact on the game should be felt regardless.