Los Angeles Clippers (13-10) @ Brooklyn Nets (7-15)
2:00 p.m. PST
December 12, 2015
Fox Prime Ticket
Last time they met?
3 February, 2015 — After dismantling the Brooklyn Nets on national TV just weeks earlier, the Nets took down the Clippers at the Barclays Center thanks to a game-winning bucket from Jarrett Jack, 102-100.
1. What are these Nets: the 0-7 team that started the season or the one playing .500 ball ever since?
Devin Kharpertian, The Brooklyn Game (@uuords): I’d say the latter. The opening schedule was brutal for them — they played most of their first month on the road against playoff teams, and were competitive in a fair number of their losses. Losing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a blow, but they’ve done well at home without him.
Sareen Tavidian (@sarenetavidian): The 0-7 team that started off this season. It is always easier to know that there is no hope for a team, then to have to bare the anxiety-filled rollercoaster throughout the entire season of inconsistency. This year, the Nets are exactly that – inconsistent. Although, they have a strong defensive-minded coach in Lionel Hollins, their offense is too flawed for the team as a whole to persevere week-to-week. With a 7-15 record, the Nets have proved to be unreliable, and ultimately lack the chemistry and rhythm to win games.
Brandon Tomyoy (@dingyu): The answer lies somewhere in between. They’ve got just enough talent on the roster to avoid being the winless team they were to start the season, but simply lack the offense or the personnel to be a .500 team on the season, either. There isn’t any drastic variance between their first seven and their last 15 in regards to their strength of schedule, and their Pythagorean Win-Loss record is identical to their current record in the standings. It certainly doesn’t help them that Joe Johnson has started off by having his worst season to date in over a decade, and in general the team doesn’t look most times like they are running an offense that is from this decade.
2. After former flirtations with their home town boy and with speculation that Doc is making calls on Lance Stephenson — I have to ask, is there a mutually beneficial scenario between these teams?
Kharpertian: No. Let’s just say Nets management is not enthralled with Lance and his, ahem, Lanceness.
Tavidian: It could be beneficial for both teams. If the Clippers could include future draft picks along with Stephenson and another expiring contract they could make a strong push to trade for Joe Johnson. Johnson, who is having a down year, would give them another veteran presence at the small forward position and also provide consistent offense. Brooklyn could benefit in the future by creating cap space and start accumulating some picks in order to build through the draft as most successful teams do these days.
Tomyoy: I don’t see one, but this is also because as much as his minutes have varied from game to game, this Clippers team needs Lance Stephenson even if the lineups try to deny it. Yes, Wesley Johnson has played well and he needs more minutes, and yes, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute has proven to be serviceable in the role he has been given, but the NetRtg of a CP-JJ-Lance-Blake-DJ lineup remains among the team’s best, and the eye test would indicate that Stephenson has looked more like the player he was in Indiana during the past few games. One would think a team that has shown such a tendency to appear listless in stretches would embrace the human embodiment of an energy drink, but I digress.
3. Complete the sentence: “When Andrea Bargnani retires he’ll be remembered as…”
Kharpertian: I can’t imagine any image will ever, ever, ever, top this.
Tavidian: … an irrelevant first draft pick. Let’s face it; Andrea Bargnani is not the same player he used to be. Bargnani would shine on the court during the first couple of years of his career, but we have yet to see those sparks this season. To be sympathetic, his past injuries might be reason for most of his misfortune. This may come off a bit harsh, but he might be the reason for the Nets’ heartbreaking record — although he did show promise in the game against Philadelphia on Thursday night. His struggles on the court are evident and his athleticism has become a distant memory accompanied by nostalgic flashbacks of his brighter years with Chris Bosh by his side.
Tomyoy: What Devin said.