The New Jersey Nets open a four-game West Coast road trip Wednesday night when they take on the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Both the Nets and Nuggets are trying to halt two-game losing streaks.
Monday's meeting is the first time the Nets will get to face Nuggets forward Nene since he chose not to sign with them during free agency. His decision to stay in Denver led New Jersey to turn their focus back to Kris Humphries, who has been better than Nene while playing on a one-year $8 million deal.
Denver's back-to-back losses were to the San Antonio Spurs Saturday night on the road and back home Monday against the New Orleans Hornets. Even though the Hornets were playing without star Eric Gordon, the Nuggets still only scored a season-low 81 points.
Before they hit the road, the New Jersey Nets fell to the Miami Heat Saturday night and the Atlanta Hawks on Monday at the Prudential Center in Newark. Despite slow starts in both games, the Nets did manage to show signs of life late in both contests and will try to find a way to get out of the blocks quicker.
Avery Johnson's crew will continue to play shorthanded. Brook Lopez continues to be sidelined by a broken foot, while both DeShawn Stevenson and Damion James will join him on the bench. Memmet Okur is a game-time decision with a balky back but is expected to give it a go.
This will mark the first Western Conference opponent the Nets have faced all season. Last year they were a disastrous 2-13 on the road against the West.
New Jersey will continue their West Coast swing Friday when they take on the Phoenix Suns.