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Nets-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-01 News New Jersey Nets

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News » Nets-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-01

Nets-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-01

Nets-Bobcats Preview 2009-11-01Off to their worst start in 10 years, the New Jersey Nets have perhaps their best opportunity yet to get their first win in their next game.

After a miserable defensive showing in their last outing, the Nets look to extend their dominance over the league's lowest-scoring team as they visit the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.

In Saturday night's 123-104 defeat in Washington, New Jersey (0-3) allowed the Wizards to shoot a season-high 61.5 percent. After the game, Nets coach Lawrence Frank called his team's effort "pitiful."

"It was a very, very dismal defensive performance," Frank said. "It's a total breakdown. There were so many things that go into it that it's hard to minimize it into one or two things."

Thanks in large part to the rout over the weekend, New Jersey ranks near the bottom of the league in scoring defense at 104.3 points allowed per game. The Nets, though, could get a break Monday against the Bobcats, who are averaging 80.0 points and shooting 37.2 percent - both worst in the NBA.

The Nets haven't opened with four straight losses since starting 0-5 in 1996-97.

The Bobcats (1-2) also could be winless, if not for Friday night's 102-100 double overtime victory over visiting New York. They followed with a 90-79 loss in Cleveland on Saturday but shot a season-best 42.6 percent.

"I saw a lot of good things, but unfortunately we keep seeing some of the bad things," coach Larry Brown told the team's official Web site. "We're getting better. We're making progress. We just have to clean up some stuff. We're trying to do the right thing. We just have to make it a little simpler and do a better job."

Only three Charlotte players are averaging in double figures, led by Raymond Felton's 13.7 per game. The team's top acquisition in the offseason, Tyson Chandler, has averaged 4.7 points while shooting 6 for 18 overall.

Chandler had surgery in the spring to relieve inflammation in his left ankle and another procedure on his left toe, and he still isn't 100 percent.

Bobcats guard Raja Bell is expected to miss his fourth straight game Monday with a partially torn ligament in his left wrist. Fellow shooting guard Flip Murray has also been out with a left shin injury to begin this season, and he's questionable for this game.

Even with a healthy lineup, the Bobcats have historically struggled to beat the Nets over their previous five seasons in the league, dropping 14 of 18 all-time matchups. They've beaten New Jersey only once in nine home games, 115-99 on Jan. 8, 2008.

The Nets, however, needed overtime to pull out a 114-103 victory in their only game in Charlotte last season. Overall, New Jersey took two of three in the 2008-09 season series.

The Nets, though, will again be without top returning scorer Devin Harris, who is expected to miss at least a week due to a strained groin. Harris averaged a career-best 21.3 points in 2008-09 but had totaled 30 on 32.3 percent shooting in the first two games this season.

Second-year center Brook Lopez has led New Jersey with 17.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 57.1 percent.

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Added: November 2, 2009


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