No Nets player played more 27 minutes last night, so hopefully they'll be relatively fresh and ready to play tonight, in an arena that's been a house of horrors for them in recent years. In fact, the last time the Nets won a game at the Pepsi Center in Denver was back in January of 2007, when Jason Kidd was still suiting up at point guard.
However, Brooklyn might be catching Denver at the right time, as the Nuggets have lost eight of their last nine games, and have already ruled out a bunch of players due to injury. Nate Robinson, JaVale McGee, Danilo Gallinari, Darrell Arthur, and Wilson Chandler are all out for the Nuggets tonight, and Ty Lawson is listed as doubtful.
This would seem to be a winnable game for Brooklyn, even if they have struggled on the road, and in the second game of back-to-backs, for the most part this season.
That said, winning tonight would buck a frustrating trend for the Nets, who are 8-32 all-time at Denver, and they haven't beaten the Nuggets in any arena in over a full year.
The Nuggets beat the Nets in Brooklyn back in December, though Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, and Andrei Kirilenko were all sidelined due to injuries in that game.
Even after getting crushed last night, with Denver's roster so injury depleted, it might be the perfect time for the Nets to snap their six-game Pepsi Center losing streak.
Key Matchup: Kenneth Faried might be the biggest healthy threat in Denver's lineup, and the 6'8 power forward can be a menace on the glass at 11.5 rebounds per 36 minutes in his career. What he lacks in height he makes up for in physicality. The Nets might use guys Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko on the guy they call "Manimal."
The 6'7 Paul Pierce usually plays the nominal power forward position in the Nets' small lineup, but I'm not sure he'll guard Faried much defensively. However the Nets try to match up with Faried, keeping him off the boards may be crucial tonight.
Player to Watch: Kirilenko has been a major X-factor at times for this Nets squad. Brooklyn is 16-4 in the games in which Kirilenko plays at least 14 minutes, and while he rarely fills up the stat sheet, he's one of the Nets' most important glue guys.