The New Jersey Nets have won three of their last five, but will be looking to bounce back from a 105-91 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday. If Avery Johnson & Co. are going to close out the season on a winning note, they will have to do it against some top tier teams on the road.
First up is the only home game of the week Monday night against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. New Jersey has already dropped their first two games of the season against Orlando. The Magic are fresh off two wins against a couple of the best teams of the season: Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.
The Nets then have to head south to Oklahoma City to try and outduel Kevin Durant and the Thunder on Wednesday. All they have done is win seven of their last 10, including a 114-106 victory over the Carmelo-less Denver Nuggest. Their will be no harder task for New Jersey than trying to guard Durant (28.1 ppg) and his running mate Russell Westbrook (22.7).
Once they are done in Oklahoma, the Nets have to go back north to take on the Bulls in Chicago on Friday, New Year's Eve. Before the ball drops, New Jersey has to try and cool down another hot team in Chicago. The Bulls are winners of eight in 10 games including six of seven at home.
There won't be much time for the Nets to celebrate the new year as they finish up the week with back-to-back games. The second is in Minnesota against the scrappy Timberwolves. They may have dropped eight of their last 10 but have not gone quietly into the night the way they did earlier in the season. In fact, they closed last week with a 98-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers just two days after nearly taking out the Utah Jazz.
All of the changes in New Jersey haven't changed who leads the team, with Brook Lopez and Devin Harris scoring 19.2 and 16.9 points per game, respectively.
There are, however, a lot of new names that have appeared on the stat sheet over the last couple of weeks.
Here is a look at the Nets stats through 30 games.