NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 7th (All times Eastern)
Brooklyn Nets (5-14) at Milwaukee Bucks (4-15), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Kidd and the struggling Brooklyn Nets try to put an embarrassing loss behind them when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday at the Bradley Center.
Kidd is in his first year as head coach of the Nets and watched his squad sustain a lopsided 113-83 loss to the New York Knicks Thursday night. Kidd, of course, played last season with the Knicks, who ended a nine-game losing streak and shot a sizzling 57.1 percent.
New York also made 16-of-27 3-pointers.
"Tonight they looked like the team of last year," said Kidd.
Brooklyn had just two players finish with 10 or more points, as Brook Lopez scored a game-high 24 points to go along with nine rebounds and Joe Johnson netted 13 points on just 4-of-15 shooting. Johnson has scored in double figures in 17 of Brooklyn's 19 games this season.
The Nets demoted assistant coach Lawrence Frank this week to shake things up.
"We have a new system," Kevin Garnett said after the 30-point Knicks loss. "We're changing things on the fly. Jason's putting in a lot of new stuff since Lawrence left."
The Nets, losers in nine of 11 games, have been banged up pretty badly and are still without guards Deron Williams (ankle) and Jason Terry (knee), and forwards Paul Pierce (hand) and Andrei Kirilenko (back). Through 19 games this season, the Nets have lost a total of 45 games due to injury.
Brooklyn is 3-8 as the visitor this season.
Milwaukee halted a two-game slide on Friday with a 109-105 overtime victory over the Wizards in Washington. The victory also ended a seven-game road losing streak.
"We've given away a lot of wins, we've gifted a lot of teams this year," said guard Brandon Knight. "Just to see our growth from one week to the next, that's what I'm proud of with our team."
The Bucks scored the final five points in regulation to force overtime and held the Wizards without a point in the extra session until Trevor Ariza made three free-throws with 42.8 seconds left.
Knight made a jumper for a three-point lead, then forced a John Wall turnover. Knight converted one of two foul shots for the final margin of victory.
Khris Middleton scored a career-high with 29 points and Knight chipped in 20. John Henson was spectacular with 19 points and 17 rebounds in over 45 minutes of action.
O.J. Mayo added 17.
Head coach Larry Drew employed some interesting rotations as the injury bug has ravaged his Bucks. Interestingly enough, Luke Ridnour saw only 3:17 on court and Gary Neal was a DNP-CD. Both were healthy.
The teams split four meetings last season but Brooklyn has lost seven of its last nine Milwaukee.
12/07 10:50:30 ET