Brooklyn Nets: Preview for Friday nights game against the Lakers

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: D.J. Augustin
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: D.J. Augustin /

In one trade, the careers of D’Angelo Russell and Lonzo Ball have been eternally linked. This Friday’s night cap features two cities forever pitted in rivalry: Brooklyn versus Los Angeles. Brooklyn coming off of a tough home loss to the Phoenix Suns and Lakers playing the backend of a double header.

The NBA gets their first chance to see D’Angelo Russell in the Staples Centers sporting the black and white of the Nets. It is also a chance to see longtime Net Brook Lopez back in action on the opposing team. The play of both Russell and rookie phenom Ball have warranted the attention of this game, together we will explore the keys towards a Nets’ victory.

Key One (Control the tempo):

One of the reasons that this game should be an entertaining one for all NBA fans would be the speed at which both teams run their offense. Friday’s night game features the Brooklyn Nets (1st in Pace) versus the L.A. Lakers (4th in Pace).

While it is clear that Kenny Atkinson wants to score the ball in transition as much as possible, it might bite him in the butt against a team like the Lakers, with a young roster that can match the Nets speed.

Thus, it is even more pressing that the Nets find a way to limit the turnovers and keep the ball in front of them at all times on defense.

Through the first two weeks of the new season it is clear that the Lakers show a certain incompetence when it pertains to success in running a half-court offense.

The Lakers haven’t been able to convert any of their half court sets, therefore the Nets have to slow down the game and trust that their offense can convert on the other end.

More from Nothin' But Nets

Key Two (Crash the boards):

The Lakers, who rank 23rd in offensive rebounding and 18th in defensive rebounding also sports one of the worst rebounding 7 footers in the NBA: sorry Brook. Thus, the onus is on Jarret Allen, Trevor Booker, and even Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to attack the boards and go at the weak spot which is Brook Lopez’s rebounding ability. Creating second chances and holding the ball would serve to limit the Lakers’ transition play and degrade this young team.

Key three (Spread the court and make them beat you from deep):

This Lakers team gets the majority of their points from transition. In a league that has been so dependent on the three-point line in recent seasons, the Lakers have been exposed in that aspect of the game.

The Lakers are 30th in three-point percentage. They have not been effective in knocking down their open threes and failed to garner any respect as a team that can space the court.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Brooklyn Nets have ranked 4th in attempted threes per game and 6th in made three-point shots.

The Nets have to force the Lakers to shoot the ball on them and into uncomfortable half-court scenarios, taking away the transition game is a sure-fire way to lock down a much-needed victory on the west coast.