Los Angeles Clippers at Brooklyn Nets
November 23, 2012 4:30p PT
FOX Prime Ticket
The Clippers make their inaugural trip to the borough of Brooklyn and get a first look at the revamped Nets. But it’s not all new faces the Clippers will encounter. Los Angeles will see a familiar face in Reggie Evans on the opposite bench as he’ll take his talents and try to rebound the Clippers to death.
And Chris Paul will see Deron Williams. Forever linked as the 3 and 4 pick in the 2005 draft; jockeying for the unofficial title of best point guard for much of their careers. Public opinion may have shifted that title towards Paul in recent time, but Williams has dominated the head-to-head matchups, defeating a Chris Paul led-team 13 times in 17 meetings.
Charlie WIddoes sat with Devin Kharpertian from the Nets’ official blog, The Brooklyn Game, to do a little Q&A:
Devin: The Clippers have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA thus far. Has this team played at, above, or below your expectations?
Charlie: They sure have. They’ve far surpassed my expectations, but mostly because it doesn’t seem so fluky. Sure, Jamal Crawford is going to come down to earth, but we know that playing with Chris Paul yields open looks for wings.
I considered the Clippers to be one of the most talented teams in the league before the season, but figured that their coach and lack of front court depth would cost them a top-4 seed in the West. But the young guys (especially DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe) have really stepped up and the defense has become formidable –which seemed impossible last season– thanks to relentless energy and the aforementioned Jordan and Bledsoe making their mark.
The way they have dominated teams like the Spurs (twice), Lakers, Heat and Bulls has given me reason to believe that they can win it all, provided they can stay healthy.
Charlie: By offensive (6th) and defensive (21st) rating, the Brooklyn Nets fit the profile of the 2011-12 Clippers. Have they performed to your expectations so far?
Devin: If anything, they’ve underperformed. They’ve had some huge up-and-down swings to get to this point — and oddly, some of those “ups” came in losses and “downs” in wins — but in the aggregate, they’ve played a little worse than I expected. The 6th-21st ratio does seem about right if they’d played a regular schedule, but they’ve had the easiest in basketball so far. They’ve allowed teams to hang around, particularly in the third and fourth quarter. Brook Lopez has looked great, and the bench has performed well in stretches, but not everything has “clicked” yet.
Read the rest of the pregame notes here.
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