The Brooklyn Nets return home on Sunday for a bout with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Nets will need to show much better effort after getting clobbered at the Detroit Pistons on Friday night in the second night of a back-to-back.
One of the keys for the Nets will be how they deal with the Pelicans rising star Anthony Davis. Davis looks to be every bit the superstar in the making that experts anticipated when New Orleans selected him with first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. For the season, Davis is averaging 20.7 points per game, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 1.5 steals. He will make his first All-Star appearance this season and you can expect that he will be making more of those appearances in the future. By season's end, he will also be among the top candidates for Defensive Player of the Year.
Brooklyn and New Orleans have had very similar seasons. The Nets enter Sunday's matchup with a record of 22-26, while the Pelicans bring a record of 22-27 to Brooklyn. Each team has faced a ton of injuries.
The biggest difference is the conference's that the two teams play in. Even despite their record, the Nets currently stand in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Pelicans are currently the twelfth in the Western Conference.
If the Nets are to get back on the winning track they will need to come out with much more energy and effort than they did against the Pistons. From the get-go that game was a blowout. They trailed by 13 at the end of the first quarter and then 23 at halftime. Brooklyn played that game without Kevin Garnett and they were out-rebounded by 17.
Defensively, the Pistons scored 67 points by halftime against the Nets. They finished with 111 for the game. The team shot 51% from the field.
Against the Pelicans they will need to keep Davis, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans in check. With Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson out, those are the Pelicans biggest offensive threats.
Gordon can light it up from anywhere on the court. Evans has not had a great season but is still an extremely talented player.
It will not be an easy task for the Nets to get a victory. Still, they have to show much better effort than they did the other night.
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