The reeling Brooklyn Nets travel to Charlotte Wednesday night to play the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena. Here’s what we’ll be watching for.
IN NEED OF A W: The Nets (3-7, 1-5 road), who have lost five of their last six games, are in desperate need of a victory. They had a team meeting following Monday night’s loss to Portland. Coach Jason Kidd took the blame for the loss, but there was plenty to go around. The Nets failed to execute on offense (36.5 percent) and defense (53.9 percent). They were outscored 27-15 in the third quarter and dropped to 0-7 this season when losing that quarter. Kevin Garnett (32.6 percent shooting on the season) and Paul Pierce (2-for-12 from the field Monday night) both left without talking to reporters.
THE RETURN OF D-WILL: Deron Williams told reporters Tuesday that he will play Wednesday night. Williams had missed the last two games due to a sprained left ankle he suffered in Phoenix last Saturday night. As it's been well-documented, Williams has struggled in the early going. His Player Efficiency Rating is just 14.08, below the league average of 15. Williams has looked uncomfortable running the offense, and he's still trying to find the right balance between knowing when to attack and when to get his teammates involved. Before getting hurt, he seemed to be getting better as far as his movement was concerned. Now, who knows what can be expected of Williams. He said there will be no restrictions on him. We’ll see.
INJURY REPORT: It is unknown if the Nets will also get Brook Lopez back. Lopez (sprained left ankle) has also missed the last two games after getting injured in Phoenix. Lopez will travel to Charlotte, and Kidd said he’d see how the 25-year-old center feels after shootaround. Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) will also travel, though he may not be ready until next week. Jason Terry (bruised knee) did not practice Tuesday.
THE CATS: The Bobcats are off to a surprising 5-6 start. They rank in the top-10 in the NBA in defensive efficiency but are shooting just 39.8 percent as a team. Marquee free-agent acquisition Al Jefferson (ankle) has appeared in just three games so far due to injury. Brooklyn has beaten Charlotte seven straight times.