While their rivals across the river are the darlings of the NBA thanks to "Linsanity", the New Jersey Nets are just trying to return to relevance with a win Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. It was just two and a half weeks ago they had won four of six and were looking like a team poised to make a playoff run as they got more players healthy.
Now riding a six game losing streak, instead of getting healthier they have continued to send players to the sidelines with various injuries. The latest member of the walking wounded is Shawne Williams, who will sit Wednesday night with a shoulder sprain. He will be replaced by DeShawn Stevenson, fresh off his own eight game hiatus.
New Jersey will have another set of fresh legs in D-League call-up Andre Emmett. Considering how thin the team is on the wing, he could see minutes immediately.
Head coach Avery Johnson is hoping a rare three days off will help his team forget two dreadful performances, the last a 103-89 plastering by the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. Deron Williams led the Nets with 27 points, while Kris Humphries had 15 and Anthony Morrow added 11 as the only starters in double figures.
The Grizzlies come to town winners of three out of three, including a 93-83 victory over the Houston Rockets. Mike Conley had a team-high 21 points and four assists, continuing his impressive 2011-12 campaign. Rudy Gay dropped 20 against Houston and it will be up to Stevenson to try and prevent the swigman from repeating those numbers.
Catch the game locally on YES or WFAN 660 with tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday's game is the first of six in eight days leading up to the All Star Break. Next up is a trip to Indiana to take on the Pacers on Thursday night.