A few years ago, the Clippers playing the Nets would be one of the least entertaining possible matchups but now in November 2012, this has potential to be one of the best matchups of the season between two teams that are very similar on paper. The Nets have new players, new jerseys and a new city since the last time the Clippers played the Nets. The Nets moved to Brooklyn due to an “Empire State of Mind”. The new look Nets are clearly influenced by their minority owner Jay-Z, and when I say minority I mean 1.5% (Yes the decimal is in the right place). The uniforms are appealing, the Barclays Center is beautiful and the Nets are relevant. The acquisition of Joe Johnson over the summer cemented a strong starting lineup for the Nets which includes Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace (who will play tonight), Kris Humphries (no Kardashian jokes coming) and Brook Lopez. The Nets sit at 6-4 and 2nd in the Atlantic Division behind their neighbor New York Knicks. Meanwhile the Clippers are 8-3 and coming off an overtime loss to the Thunder where Chris Paul and most of the team didn’t have their “A” game but still put up a fight with the Western Conference Champs. Tonight all eyes will be on the premiere matchup of Chris Paul and Deron Williams.
Paul and Williams are the two best point guards in the league with the injury to Derrick Rose and will likely be the All-Star Starters. They both are trying to lead a new tradition for their respective teams also. The Nets have been awful since their run of back to back finals and Deron Williams is committed to them with the extension he signed over the summer. The Clippers up until last season were also one the bottom dwellers in the league but since the acquisition of Chris Paul have a new look that contains championship aspirations. Both teams are eerily similar starting with being considered the little brothers of their cities. The Clippers have the Lakers to share Los Angeles with while the Nets now share the big apple with the Knicks. The teams also both have young bigs, veteran wings, shooters off the bench, inconsistent coaches and hope for the first time in a decade.
This is the 3rd of a defining four game road trip for the Clippers who return back Monday after finishing in Atlanta tomorrow. The keys to the games will be rebounds and bench play. The Clippers have a clear edge in the latter but benches are known to spark the home team so hopefully the Clippers will continue to show why they have the deepest team in the league.
Prediction: Clippers 97 Nets 89