Reeling Nets Have Opportunity Against Struggling Kings

Feb 5, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 5, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping six straight, the Brooklyn Nets look to rebound against the struggling Sacramento Kings.

After surprising the NBA through nine games with a 4-5 record, the Brooklyn Nets have lost six in a row to drop to 4-11, good for second-to-last in the Eastern Conference.

The Nets have a good chance to bounce back against a somewhat weak Sacramento team at home tonight, before they travel to take on the powerful Los Angeles Clippers again on Tuesday.

The Kings haven’t been too impressive either this season, boasting a 6-10 record and losing nine of their last 13.

The meeting between the two teams is the first of two during this season. Last season, the Nets and Kings split their season series 1-1.

Jan 21, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Ramon Sessions (9) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the third quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-100. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Nets’ Keys to Victory

DE-FENSE

This can’t be emphasized enough for the Nets. They are currently giving up a league-worst 113.5 points per game to their opponent. Further, in their six-game losing streak, the Nets have given up more than 110 points in every game – and more than 120 in four of them.

Right now, this is by far the weakest part of the team. Even though Jeremy Lin has been out and that disrupts the dynamic of the team, the defensive side should not be as effected. If the Nets want to be a consistent team in any way, they need to step up their play protecting the basket.

A big reason for this is because the Nets are allowing their opponents to shoot 47.2 percent from the field this season, second-worst in the NBA. To win this game, the Nets need to disrupt the Kings’ offense as much as possible. No matter what they do on offense, it could be negated if their defense gives up 110+ again.

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More strong play from Brook Lopez

While it comes as a surprise to no one, “Mr. Nets” has been the leader of the Nets once again this season. He’s averaging a team-high 20.1 points per game, and also leads the team in blocks per game and player efficiency rating.

Lopez has been consistent even throughout the losing streak, and for the Nets to win, they need Lopez to continue playing well.

So far, it’s been hard to rely on anyone else on the Nets, so to have someone as consistent as Lopez is a huge help. The Nets will need him to not only continue his scoring ways, but to contain DeMarcus Cousins as well.

Players to Watch:

Nets: Brook Lopez (C) – 20.1 points per game, 1.6 blocks per game this season

Kings: DeMarcus Cousins (C) – 27.8 points per game, 9.8 rebound per game this season

Feb 5, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Quincy Acy (13) battles Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) for position under the basket during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Lineups

Nets:

Kings:

Injury Report

Nets:

Kings: None

Key Matchup:

Brook Lopez vs. DeMarcus Cousins

Two of the premier centers in the NBA go head to head, and whoever ends up getting the edge will help their team significantly. Both of these players are arguably their team’s best player, so to see them go at it down low will be fun to watch. DeMarcus Cousins has always been a freak of nature, but don’t overlook the veteran Brook Lopez in this one,

The game will be broadcasted at 7:00 PM EST on YES Network. Join the conversation by tweeting @NetsBlogFS.

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