It’s the battle for the Atlantic Division basement! OK, not really. Even if the Nets win tonight, they’ll still be a game behind the Raptors in the standings. On the other hand, if the Nets lose they’ll fall into last place in the Eastern Conference. Whatever happens, it’s a safe bet the game highlights won’t be leading any 11pm sports news shows unless Stephen Graham’s robot CPU short circuits and he starts attacking fans at the ACC.
While it’s been a disappointing season for the Nets, one happy story has been the emergence of Kris Humphries as a consistent double-double threat now that he’s finally earned a starting lineup spot in his seventh season. He’s averaged 13.5 rebounds over his last four games, but his growing stardom has a lot more to do with his new relationship with serial jockrider Kim Kardashian. I bet Hump’s rebounding prowess has improved because Kim taught him a few things about boxing out.
Brook Lopez is probably a threat to go off for 30-plus points tonight if Andrea Bargnani can’t play, but the Nets don’t really have any other daunting offensive threats — they’re 27th in the NBA in Offensive Rating (101.7 points scored per 100 possessions) and they’re 28th in field goal percentage. The Raptors have allowed their opponents to score at least 110 points in six of their last seven games, but it’s unlikely to be seven times in eight games after tonight.
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon will both be game-time decisions.
New Jersey: Damion James and Anthony Morrow are out for an extended period with their injuries.
1. Before the season, new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov proclaimed that he expected this team to make the playoffs. Do you think he realizes yet that’s almost certainly not going to happen?
2. Is Kris Humphries stealing all of Brook Lopez’s rebounds? Lopez averaged 8.9 rebounds per game last season but he’s only averaging 6.2 boards this season.
3. Did Prokhorov trade for Sasha Vujacic earlier this week mostly so he could put the moves on Sasha’s wife, Maria Sharapova?
4. What’s the over-under on Kardashian camera time if she comes to the game?
5. Do you think Prokhorov has his own miniature giraffe?
Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jerryd Bayless, DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson
New Jersey: Devin Harris, Jordan Farmar, Quinton Ross, Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez
Tonight’s pregame song is “Stand Up Tall” by Dizzee Rascal. To my Scarborough crew, get paper! To my Etobicoke crew, get paper! To my Markham crew, get paper! And to my RealGM haters, see ya later!