The Scouting Report: Brooklyn Nets

In an attempt to help you get to know the Blazers opponent each night, we are going to post a little bit of a scouting report of each team on the blog before each game. Tonight’s opponent are the Brooklyn Nets (3-6) with tip-off at 4:30 PM on CSNNW. The game can be heard on 620 AM as Scott Lynn will have the call for Brian Wheeler

Projected starting line-up: Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Mason Plumlee

New faces: Head Coach Jason Kidd, Garnett, Pierce, Livingston, Andrei Kirilenko, Jason Terry, Alan Anderson

Injuries: Deron Williams, Brook Lopez are both out. Andrei Kirlenko hasn’t played since November 8th and Paul Pierce is a game-time decision.

Well, so far the only thing that $85 million-plus in luxury tax has gotten the Brooklyn Nets is a slow, old and injured team.

On paper, this team looked like they had everything to be a challenger to Miami’s throne in the Eastern Conference. They had a top-flight point guard, the veteran savvy and swagger of Garnett and Pierce, the league’s best offensive center and arguably the best isolation scorer in the NBA.

They’ve had one “signature win” against the Heat but even that was far from impressive.

Basically what I’m saying here is that while this game looked like the hardest one of the road trip before the season, they couldn’t have asked for a better team to play on the second night of a back-to-back just after going to overtime the day before.

The Blazers are playing extremely well right now, especially on the offensive end and while their defense hasn’t been great, they should be able to piece together a good defensive performance against a struggling Brooklyn team without their best offensive player in Lopez.

They’ve lost to the likes of Cleveland and Orlando and one of their three wins this season was against the 1-10 Jazz.

It appears that not only can money not buy you love and happiness but it also can’t buy you a basketball team.

Last year they were a pretty good team on paper, too, but they still managed to get beat by a depleted Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls team in the playoffs.

People questioned this team’s toughness and the additions of Garnett and Pierce especially made it seem like toughness would no longer be an issue.

Maybe it isn’t this year. But age, injuries and learning how to play together have been the biggest issue for a team that looked like a contender earlier entering the season.

There is still time to get healthy, find a way to coalesce and be a good team in the Eastern Conference. But they won’t get there by tonight.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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