Last night against the Bucks, head coach Jason Kidd started a small lineup that included two point guards in Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams, and Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce at the two forward spots. While that adjustment was effective against the hapless Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, it probably won't fly against this taller, more athletic Pacers squad that could be a matchup nightmare for Brooklyn tonight.
The Nets will be without Andray Blatche and Andrei Kirilenko for the duration of this road trip, hurting their depth that already took a big hit when Brook Lopez went down for the season. The last time these teams squared off, this past Monday at the Barclays Center, the Pacers had no trouble blowing out the Nets in dominant fashion.
In that game five days ago, Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 26 points for Indiana, and rising superstar Paul George added 26 of his own as well.
It was a game to forget for the Nets' Paul Pierce, who capped off an 0-of-7 shooting night with a flagrant foul and an ejection.
It was just the second scoreless game of Pierce's illustrious career, and his first since a 10-minute effort as a rookie back in 1998-99.
Key Matchup: Containing Paul George is going to be a tough assignment for anybody, and it'll be interesting to see how Kidd schemes his defense against #24. Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce are the most likely candidates to match up with him, and it'll be tough sledding no matter what for the Nets' defense.
Player to Watch: Mirza Teletovic is coming off a career-high 19 points last night, but he had a rough go of it against Indiana on Monday. Teletovic was 0-of-5 from behind the arc against the Pacers in that game, but he's hit at least five three-pointers in three of the Nets' last seven games, including his strong showing last night.