Opening Statements: Wizards at Nets, Game 79 | Wizards Blog Truth About

Opening Statements: Wizards at Nets, Game 79

Updated: April 10, 2015

Teams: Wizards at Nets
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Television: CSN
Radio: WNEW 99.1 FM / WFED 1500 AM
Spread: Nets fav’d by 5

Double-double machine John Wall won’t play tonight in front of the Barclays Center crowd, which means Ramon Sessions, who scored 19 points to go with seven assists against Philadelphia, will make a second consecutive start. Nene is back from a three-game absence, pushing red-hot Drew Gooden (shooting better than 63% from 3 in April) to the bench.

The Wizards, mixed and matched, will try to knock off current 8-seed Brooklyn, owners of the NBA’s fifth-best record over the last 15 games (11-4). A loss likely locks the Wizards into the 5-seed in the East, but a win keeps the hope of home-court advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs alive.

Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jarrett Jack, and Thaddeus Young have all averaged more than 10 points per game during this stretch. Along with Lopez, who’s in his second straight stint as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Young has been especially impressive in Brooklyn’s past five games (3 wins), scoring 18 points per contest.

Rookie Markel Brown, acquired from the Timberwolves on draft night in exchange for cash considerations, has also effective, box score numbers be damned. The Nets, owners of a 36-42 record, are playing better than .500 basketball (14-11) with Brown in the starting 5. And when surrounded by Williams, ISO Joe, Young and Lopez, Brown features on one of the NBA’s best five-man units.

Since the All-Star Break, they’ve played nearly 220 minutes together, posting an Offensive Rating of 111.8 and a Defensive Rating of 100.5. Only Cleveland has a starting 5 with a better Net Rating than Brooklyn’s plus-11.3 since the All-Star Break in the East.

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.