Nets-Wizards Preview: Prepare for Some Really Bad Basketball


Tonight, the Nets will host the Washington Wizards at the Rock at 7:30 PM, and it is sure to be a game of really bad basketball. The Wizards are the second worst team in the NBA, only behind Charlotte, and have had an extremely disappointing season. Despite John Wall being in his second season in the NBA and averaging 18 points and 8 assists per game, Washington only has 10 wins, and only 4 of those wins are on the road. Yet again, this seems like a very winnable home game for the Nets, but they are only 5-17 at home and are coming off of bad home losses to New Orleans and Cleveland. The defense should be especially bad in this game. The Wizards give up the most points per game in the eastern conference, and we all know how bad the Nets defense has been recently. I will be shocked if both teams don’t score over 100 points, not because of good offense, but because of bad defense.

The Nets really should win this game, if for no other reason than because they just lost to the Cavaliers, who are a similar and slightly better version of the Wizards. Both teams are led by explosive young point guards with not too much help around them, though Kyrie Irving’s supporting cast is clearly better than John Wall’s. Kyrie had Tristan Thompson and Antawn Jamison, while Wall really only has Nene, who will be making his Wizards debut tonight after being traded for Javale McGee. This trade was disappointing to me because I was looking forward to seeing Javale in action tonight. He is one of the biggest headcases in the NBA and he has a very low basketball IQ, meaning that he would be sure to do something dumb in this game that I would enjoy seeing.

Now I will talk about a few of the interesting matchups we will be seeing tonight. The most important one is obviously going to feature the best player on each team and the point guards, Deron Williams and John Wall. On Monday night, it was clearly important to Kyrie that he would play better than Deron and I expect to see the same kind of effort from Wall tonight. His team isn’t very good, but he still is and he wants to prove to the rest of the NBA that he can compete with a world-class player like Williams. Another intriguing matchup to watch is the battle at shooting guard, Marshon Brooks vs. Jordan Crawford. Both these guys are very young players with a ton of potential. They can get very streaky and score in bunches and they hardly, if ever, play any defense. I am expecting a 20 point game from both players, partially because they are talented offensively, and partially because their counterpart is weak defensively.

The X factor in this game is the backup point guard position for the Nets. After Jordan Farmar went down with an injury a few games ago, the Nets quickly signed Jerry Smith from the D-League and moved Sundiata Gaines to the backup point guard position. Sundiata really played terribly, and he is now in Avery Johnson’s doghouse. This means that Jerry Smith, a D-Leaguer just a few days ago, is now getting some big minutes for the Nets. And he has really not performed well in these minutes, not that we should have expected anything better from a D-Leaguer. The point is that the Nets have lost their last 3 games without Farmar and that they really need him back ASAP. Jerry Smith simply does not cut it. It is unlikely that Farmar will play tonight, but if he can play it will be a huge boost.

I will be attending tonight’s game in Newark, and I urge all of you to go as well. There are still plenty of tickets selling for a single penny on stubhub, and you can sit in the lower level for a dollar. In contrast, at Knicks games, you can rarely sit in the lower level for less than $100. The Nets are a really good deal and they need more fans. Now on to my prediction for the game. I think the Nets will win this one 119-108 in a game where we see virtually no defense. There will be tons of open shots for both teams. My bold prediction is that, because of all these open shots, Anthony Morrow will have a huge game, scoring at least 20, maybe more, off the bench. He seemed very upset after the loss to Cleveland on Monday and this will be his payback game. Expect big things from Morrow tonight.