Nets-Lakers Preview

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The Brooklyn Nets emerge from the All-Star break looking to resume their chase for a playoff sport in the Eastern Conference, but it's going to be without Kevin Garnett. A day after trading the future Hall of Famer, the Nets will likely have Thaddeus Young available for his debut as they try to snap a three-game slide against the lowly Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Brooklyn (21-31) is one game behind Miami and Charlotte for the East's last two playoff spots, but Boston, Detroit and Indiana are all lurking within two games of seventh in the conference. The Nets' attempt at reaching the playoffs for a third straight season will come without Garnett, who was dealt to Minnesota for Young prior to Thursday's trade deadline. Garnett, 38, was the face of the Timberwolves from 1995-2007, but he was averaging just 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds this season. Young, on the other hand, is scoring 14.3 points per game, averaging 5.1 boards and is 12 years younger than the 15-time All-Star. He was in his first season with Minnesota after being acquired from Philadelphia in the three-team trade that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland in August. "Thanks (at)MNTimberwolves organization and fans for welcoming my family and I. We really appreciate you all," Young tweeted. "Hello (at)BrooklynNets, can't wait for the new opportunity ..... my family and I are very excited and ready." Brooklyn is hoping Young's transition goes smoothly after entering the break with six losses in seven road games. The Nets are 0-3 on an eight-game road swing bridged by the break. The Nets are averaging 86.7 points while shooting 29.1 percent from beyond the arc in their last three games. They fell behind by 17 in the opening quarter in an eventual 95-86 defeat at Memphis on Feb. 10. "We have some scoring lulls," said center Mason Plumlee. "If you don't score, it doesn't matter how good your defense is." Brooklyn didn't have any such issues against the Lakers on Feb. 23, winning 108-102 to end an 11-game slide in the all-time series. Deron Williams had 30 points, seven assists, six steals and five rebounds in that meeting, but he's unlikely to have that kind of impact this time. The guard has struggled with injuries this season, and is averaging 7.3 points on 29.4 percent shooting in six games off the bench after missing 11 with a rib injury. Jarrett Jack has supplanted Williams at the point, and he's averaging 18.6 points in five games. Los Angeles (13-40) has allowed 106.0 points per game during a six-game losing streak and has dropped 15 of 16 overall. With star Kobe Bryant out for the season and the Lakers' postseason hopes are all but mathematically over, coach Byron Scott is planning to tinker with the lineup. "With 25 (games) left or maybe a little bit less than that, I'll probably make another lineup change," Scott told the team's official website. "Just to give some other guys some time to just go out there and show what they could do as well. So I do expect probably one more - at least - lineup change." Scott has already added rookie Jordan Clarkson to the lineup, and he's producing 13.4 points per game while starting 10 straight. The guard was used exclusively off the bench in his first 21 games, averaging 4.9 points.