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Brooklyn Nets vs Golden State Warriors Preview and Predictions -03-12-2020

The Brooklyn Nets got their California swing started in a big way on Tuesday night with a win against the conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers. They’re going from the top of the standings to the bottom when they visit the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

The Lakers were coming off wins against the Bucks and Clippers and had won 11 of their last 12 games. The win was the fourth for the Nets in their last five games.

““It was an extremely big win for us, especially playing against a team like that,” said Caris LeVert. “They’re playing their best basketball of the season right now, so it was a huge win for us [and] for our confidence going forward, especially starting the road trip off.”

The game-winner came from the hands of Spencer Dinwiddie, who pulled up off a drive for an elbow jumper with 28.8 seconds remaining.

“It was a little bit of misdirection so basically an isolation,” said Dinwiddie. “Avery Bradley did a good job of cutting off my first drive and then my second attempt was to the left. I was able to get a step, just pulled up and was fortunate enough to hit the shot.”

After Dinwiddie’s go-ahead basket, the Nets withstood two shots by the Lakers to tie or win the game. LeBron James’ point-blank layup off a drive rolled around and off the rim, and after the loose rebound went off the Nets out of bounds, the Lakers got one more shot. An open 3-pointer from Anthony Davis for the win was off the mark.

“I wasn’t really a part of the action so I can’t tell you like step-for-step how he got open, but it just seems like, obviously, Wilson [Chandler] went to cut off the drive by LeBron,” said Dinwiddie. “We wouldn’t want to give him a layup – that’s a higher percentage shot than an AD three. But considering how well he was shooting it tonight and how talented he is, I’d be lying if I said when I turned around and saw him [wide open] that I wasn’t like [nervous].”

“It’s like the joy and pain of basketball,” said Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn. “I got the perfect sightline, I see it leave, I’m just watching the flight of it. Looked to see if his feet were behind the line. So I said, this is a three-ball. We either lose on this thing, or we’re gonna win this thing. In our favor tonight.”

NO FANS IN SAN FRANCISCO

As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic spreads throughout the sports world, the Nets’ game against the Warriors on Thursday will be played without fans admitted to Chase Center. The team posted the following statement on its website on Wednesday:

“Due to escalating concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and in consultation with the City and County of San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors announced today that tomorrow night’s game vs. the Brooklyn Nets at Chase Center will be played without fans.”

TEMPLE IN, HARRIS OUT

Garrett Temple, who has missed the last four games with an ankle sprain, has been listed as probable against the Warriors on Thursday. Joe Harris, who has played in 63 of Brooklyn’s first 64 games and started every game he’s played, is out with an ankle sprain.

AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE

One change that Jacque Vaughn has quickly worked to implement in his first two games is a more aggressive defensive approach. That was on display Sunday when the Nets switched all defenders but their centers against the Bulls.

“More settled, definitely today,” said Vaughn of his second game. “I think shootaround helped us. We were able to talk a little bit more, get some things ironed out, change some things. I think aggressively, and I think it really showed — 22 points in the third quarter, 22 points in the fourth quarter. On the road and to be defensive-minded, that’s what gave us a chance tonight.”

“Just being active,” said Caris LeVert. “We’re a smaller team, especially compared to the [the Lakers]. I think we did a great job of communicating, doubled well when we were doubling and just scrambling, trying to find the next man. It was kind of something that we just put in recently. I think we did a great job at it. Communication was great tonight and it really helped us.”

The rangy, 6-foot-6 LeVert had two steals against the Lakers and is averaging 1.7 per game since Feb. 3.

“There’s some players who are just instinctual and know where the basketball is and have a knack for the basketball,” said Vaughn. “He’s one of those guys, and we’ll continue to give him freedom to gamble a little bit and go for a steal and get some deflections. What we’ll ask of his teammates is, cover his back when he does that, and I think you saw that tonight. Our ability to make multiple efforts as we scrambled on the perimeter. Then we’ll keep rebounding, that’s the next layer as we scramble on the perimeter.”

ABOUT THE WARRIORS

This is the second meeting this season between the Nets and Warriors, with the Nets winning 129-88 at home on Feb. 5. Golden State is 15-50 and in last place in the Western Conference.

The previous meeting was the last game with the Warriors for former Nets guard D’Angelo Russell, who was then dealt to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins and draft picks. Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in 2014, has averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 12 games for the Warriors.

Stephen Curry returned from a four-month absence with a broken hand last Thursday to score 23 points against Toronto, but has not played in Golden State’s two subsequent games. Among Golden State’s top six points per game scorers this season, Russell, Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson are no longer with the team, Curry has played five games, and Wiggins has played 12. That leaves rookie forward Eric Paschall, a second-round pick out of Villanova, averaging 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Golden State is last in the NBA in offensive rating (104.4), 29th in field goal percentage (43.8) and 29th in 3-point percentage (33.4).

Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in San Francisco, California. The Warriors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division. Founded in 1946 in Philadelphia, the Warriors relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1962 and took the city’s name, before changing its geographic moniker to Golden State in 1971.[b] They will begin playing their home games at the Chase Center starting in October 2019.

The Warriors won the inaugural Basketball Association of America (BAA) championship in 1947,[c] and won its second championship in 1956, led by Hall of Fame trio Paul Arizin, Tom Gola, and Neil Johnston. However, the Warriors would not return to similar heights in Philadelphia, and after a brief rebuilding period following the trade of star Wilt Chamberlain, the team moved to San Francisco. With star players Jamaal Wilkes and Rick Barry, the Warriors returned to title contention, and won their third championship in 1975, in what is largely considered one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.

This would precede another period of struggle in the 1980s, before becoming playoff regulars at the turn of the decade with stars Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, colloquially referred to as “Run TMC”. After failing to capture a championship, the team entered another rebuilding phase in the 2000s. The Warriors’ fortunes changed in the 2010s, ushering in a new era of success led by Stephen Curry. After drafting perennial All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the team returned to championship glory in 2015, before winning another two in 2017 and 2018 with the help of former league MVP Kevin Durant.

Nicknamed the Dubs as a shortening of “W’s”,[7][8] the Warriors hold several NBA records; they have registered the best ever regular season, most wins in a season (regular season and postseason combined), as well as the best ever postseason run. With the combined shooting of Curry and Thompson, they are credited as one of the greatest backcourts of all time.[9][10] The team’s six NBA championships are tied for third-most in NBA history with the Chicago Bulls. According to Forbes, the Warriors are the seventh highest valued sports franchise in the United States, and joint-tenth in the world, with an estimated value of approximately $3.1 billion.[11]