The Brooklyn Nets have yet to lose three games in a row this season. They’ll try to keep it that way on Friday night, when they host the Golden State Warriors at Barclays Center. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
STOPPERS: The Nets (11-6) suffered defeats in their previous two games against last year’s representatives in the NBA Finals -- the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. Hard to take anything away from them, though, considering Brooklyn was without starting center Brook Lopez (mild right foot sprain) both times. The Nets allowed Miami and OKC to score over 100 points and shoot over 50 percent from the floor. Brooklyn is going to have to turn it up defensively against a surprising good Golden State team on Friday night. The Nets are 7-2 at home this season.
WE ARE THE WARRIORS: The Warriors are currently 11-7, and beat the Nets, 102-93, on Nov. 21. In that game, Golden State’s dynamic backcourt of Stephen Curry (19.1 ppg) and Klay Thompson (16.0 ppg) combined for 48 points, as the Warriors were able to rally back from a 13-point deficit to claim the victory. The onus is going to be on Deron Williams and Joe Johnson to match their younger counterparts on both ends of the floor.
TWO IN A ROW? D-Will exploded for a season-high 33 points against the Thunder Tuesday night on 10-for-20 shooting. He also nailed five 3-pointers. Williams was aggressive from the start, something the Nets want to see carry over to Friday night’s game. With Johnson continuing to be inconsistent, Brooklyn could really use some consistency out of D-Will. Plus, the banged up franchise point guard probably feels even better after getting another two days of rest prior to the game.
ZERO HERO: Andray Blatche has averaged 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds while starting in Lopez’s absence. Nets coach Avery Johnson said that Blatche has been able to thrive in his expanded role because the 26-year-old believes he deserves to be a starter in the NBA. Blatche has certainly been a bargain for Brooklyn after signing a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the veteran’s minimum in the offseason.
HOMECOMING: Warriors coach Mark Jackson is a Brooklyn native. He also served as a color analyst for the Nets on the YES Network for several seasons. Jackson’s most noteworthy catchphrase? “Mama, there goes that man!”