The New Jersey Nets have a chance to pick up a game on one of the five teams they are chasing for that elusive final playoff spot Monday night when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Prudential Center in Newark. Sitting seven games back in the loss column paints a bleak pictures for the Nets, but the team still believes they can make a run and that will need to start with the Cavs.
Last time out against the struggling New Orleans Hornets, New Jersey couldn't close the deal. After leading most of the game, the Nets fell apart in the fourth quarter, scoring just 12 points. Deron Williams and Anthony Morrow led the Nets with 20 points off the bench, while the emerging Gerald Green added 16 off the bench.
Cleveland is led by soon-to-be Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving, who will try to stop a three game Cavaliers skid, including a tough 103-87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.
Avery Johnson will be without the services of Jordan Farmar, meaning D-League call-up Jerry Smith could see upwards of 15 minutes in a backup roll previously held by Sundiata Gaines. Recently acquired Gerald Wallace also should play a bigger role now that he has had a few days to learn the New Jersey offense.
You can watch the game locally on YES or listen on Bloomberg 1130 with tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Nets will wrap up their short three-game home stand Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards.