All the Nets have to do to end their brief losing streak is beat the MVP-led NBA title contender in top form.
In other words, repeat exactly what they did seven days ago.
The Nets not only beat Western Conference leaders Denver last Sunday, but also overcame a triple-double from Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic to take the win.
After Saturday’s 116-110 loss to the Knicks at The Garden, the Nuggets will head to the Barclays Center on Sunday to seek revenge.
“I told the men [Friday]”Some guys go up to the plate and you don’t pitch to them,” said head coach Jack Vaughan, using a baseball metaphor. In that match we said we were going to let Jokic do what he was doing and see if he could do it [contain] other people.
“I’ll see if that formula is the same. They’re a smart team. What I loved about that game was that we played with a lot of energy. you will see.”
The Nets have lost to the Thunder and Kings since their 122-120 victory in Denver.
If the Nets don’t react to their biggest week of the season, they could be on a two-game losing streak, a three-game losing streak, a five-game losing streak, and an immediate playoff seed.
Guard Spencer Dinwiddie said, “We understand what it means to play against a playoff team. We approach it with that level of focus.”
The rematch with the Nuggets comes ahead of a home-and-home matchup with the Cavaliers, who are trailing the Nets in the Eastern Conference’s race for the sixth seed and avoiding play, and a trip to Miami with the Heat. in tournaments.
“We all know math. We all watch sowing,” said Dinwiddie. “We all know it.”
Two-time MVP Jokic, who had 24 points and 10 rebounds despite Denver’s loss to the Knicks on Saturday, will need a single-minded focus.
Nick Claxton didn’t answer defensively last Sunday, but the Nets found a way to counter-punch on the other side.
“Bigger, stronger players are often featured in that kind of blitz, so they can make short rolls for Nick. “If we can get the three points, we have a chance to have a dynamic game like we did in Denver.”
Dinwiddie had 16 assists to give the Nuggets the win, and in a “quick and decisive decision” he swung the ball out of the trap and fed it into a 3-pointer for the Nets’ 17.
The Nuggets’ excuse after that was that they stepped off the gas in the third quarter and allowed the Nets to go on a 37-18 run, not the bulletin board material.
“They are the number one team in the West, so it makes sense to say that,” Dinwiddie said. “They lost several times in a row. [five of the last six games] I hope they are motivated because they are probably trying to stop the bleeding and figure themselves out. The method remains the same. ”
Vaughn refuses to see the big picture.
At 6 feet 11 inches, Jokic is big enough.
“The first thing I said when I woke up this morning was, ‘I’m not looking forward,'” Vaughan said. “I don’t want them to look too far. There can be so many things involved at the end of the year. I don’t want to put any more pressure on it to make it worse.”