7:30 p.m. PST
Oracle Arena - Oakland, CA
TV: CSNBA/HD | Radio: KNBR 680
Blog buddy: Nets Daily
Since the Golden State Warriors last met the Brooklyn Nets, they've gone 11-6 and currently sit in 6th place in the conference.
And their losses during that time are largely understandable: the surprisingly good Toronto Raptors and obviously good Oklahoma City Thunder at home, the Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons (?!?) and Chicago Bulls (SEGABABA) on the road.
Now they've added Marcus Thornton who seemed to have a knack for making plays for the Sacramento Kings in big moments against the Warriors and will be making his Nets debut tonight.
Although they're probably not done making moves yet - with Stanford alum Jason Collins reportedly in the mix - that's not bad for a team that once looked like the best thing their coach was going to draw up was spilling a cup of liquid on the floor.
The Warriors on the other hand continue an up and down season, as tonight they'll play a team that has already beaten them without the services of Andrew Bogut.
The Warriors lost in Brooklyn (with Bogut) back on January 8 behind 17 points from Andray Blatche (who is in the midst of a career year), 27 from Iso Joe Johnson (tied for a season-high against First Division Western Conference opponents), and a solid 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting, 5 rebounds and 4 steals from old man KG. Tonight, it will be Jermaine O'Neal (and Hilton Armstrong?) in the trenches trying to stop that frontcourt combo while the perimeter defense tries to do a better job on Johnson.
But ultimately, I've pretty much given up trying to figure out this Warriors team at this point: they are what they are and what they are largely boils down to "inconsistent"; you (might be able to) live with losses to the Charlotte Bobcats because they pull through with thrilling wins against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets.
There are any number of possible reasons for that have been described at length around this site so I won't belabor the point(s) further, except to say this: if they win tonight, it will be their first consecutive home wins of 2014.
Don't mistake the glum tone for panic - I don't think much of what happens now will matter come playoff time if this team can somehow manage to enter the postseason healthy. But "waiting for the playoffs" can be a weird way to get through the latter stages of an 82-game season (as though I, as a Warriors fan, have any real experience with that). That's especially true when the team is currently sitting in 7th place and just 1.5 games from falling out of contention altogether.
Right now, this is a game the Warriors need to win but even if they lose there's some sliver of faith that they'll keep coming up with magic to help them sneak into the postseason.