By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
January 4th, 2013
W2W4: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets will be hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night in the Barclays Center. Brooklyn is coming off by far their best win of the season in Oklahoma City, where they best the Thunder on a buzzer-beater by Joe Johnson.
- No Uncle Drew
The Nets will be catching a big break on Saturday, as the Cavaliers best player and All-Star Point Guard Kyrie Irving will not be in the lineup due to a knee injury. The Cavaliers aren’t a great team even with Irving so this is a big opportunity for the Nets to build a little winning streak to start off the New Year. The Cavaliers will also be without Center Andrew Bynum, who has been suspended by the team, and they are actively trying to trade the Center.
- Welcome Back
Power Forward Andray Blatche will be for Brooklyn after missing the last four games due to personal reasons, and with Brook Lopez out for the season this is a very welcomed sight for Jason Kidd to get some size in his rotations. The Cavaliers do have a big frontline in Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson, so having Blatche back will be nice for Brooklyn.
- Small Ball
Jason Kidd has found some success with his smaller lineup of late, but going against Varejao and Thompson it will be interesting to see whether or not Kidd stays with what has worked lately or going with a bigger lineup. If they do decide to start small and see how that goes it will be Paul Pierce at the four position and Shaun Livingston playing on the wing with Joe Johnson.
- Can Joe Get Going
Joe Johnson had the big shot for the Nets in the win against the Thunder, but besides that he didn’t have much of an impact on the game, as he finished with just nine points. Johnson has struggled in his last five games. In the last five games Johnson has only been in double-digit points once, which was on Christmas Day against the Bulls. The Nets desperately need Johnson to score around 20 points per game to give some help to Deron Williams.