Brooklyn is coming off a big win on the road against the Charlotte Bobcats, but the team has lost three consecutive games on its home floor.
The Wizards have played better since the return of point guard John Wall, but the team is still the worst in the NBA on the road at 5-23.
Impact of Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson had a huge second half against the Bobcats in Wednesday’s win, and the Nets will continue to seek big efforts from “Joe Smooth.”
Brooklyn is 13-2 this season when Johnson scores 20 or more points and 22-24 when Johnson scores 19 points or less or does not play.
He nailed five three pointers against the Bobcats, and that trend will need to continue tonight against the Wizards.
Bradley Beal Questionable
The Wizards leading scorer, rookie guard Bradley Beal, is day-to-day dealing with a sprained ankle. He’s averaged 14.2 point per game this season.
Beal had been on a hot streak averaging 20.8 points per game prior to having to be carried off Washington’s win Sunday over the 76ers.
If Beal does not play, the Wizards’ already light offensive attack will be that much weaker.
Washington is 2-6 this season without Beal in the lineup.
Which Reggie Evans Will Show Up?
We all know that Reggie Evans is a beast on glass, but his offensive production has been terribly inconsistent.
He’s not really expected to score points, but when he does it’s a bonus. He made 3-of-4 shots for six points in Wednesday’s win.
However, he sometimes thinks he has more of an offensive repertoire than he actually does, which forces him into taking uncontrolled shots.
With Kris Humphries out of the rotation, the Nets have placed their faith in Evans at the power forward position. Rather than try to do too much offensively, he should be focused on grabbing rebounds and playing defense.
A Chance to Gain Ground
Four of the next six games for the Nets are against teams currently under .500: the Wizards, 76ers, Hornets and Pistons. The other two games are against the Atlanta Hawks, which both should be competitive games.
Meanwhile, the Knicks will be going up against a few top teams in the Western Conference, starting this weekend by hosting the Utah Jazz. New York then goes on the road to Golden State, Denver, Portland, the Clippers and Utah.
Brooklyn is currently 3.0 games behind the Knicks for the lead in the Atlantic Division, so a hot streak from the Nets coupled with a few losses from the Knicks can turn the tables.
The next two weeks can be very telling for both teams.
The action tips off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on the YES Network.