Nets open lengthy trek against Pistons

Updated: March 18, 2013

The Brooklyn Nets embark on a season-long, eight-game road
odyssey, starting Monday night against the Detroit Pistons.

The Nets are only a game behind the New York Knicks for first in the Atlantic
Division. This long time away from home will most likely decide where the Nets
finish, not just in the Atlantic, but in the Eastern Conference, where they
are fourth.

While the Nets are in great shape to challenge for the Atlantic Division
title, they are also in jeopardy of falling down the standings. They are only
1 1/2 games ahead of the seventh-seeded Boston Celtics.

The Nets didn’t help themselves on Sunday night when they got drummed at home
by the Atlanta Hawks. Brooklyn fell 105-93 and was outscored 34-20 in the
fourth quarter.

“It was a game that we had an opportunity to step up and establish what we
are,” said interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo. “We have to work harder.”

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each had 18 points in the setback. Brook Lopez
chipped in 17 and Reggie Evans had a monster night with 14 points and 22

The Pistons come home after a four-game western road trip. The journey, and
the last two weeks, was a disaster for the Pistons, who have lost eight
straight games.

Detroit, which has lost five in a row at home, most recently fell in Portland
to the Trail Blazers on Saturday night, 112-101. Rodney Stuckey was awesome
that night with 32 points on 12-for-23 shooting, and Will Bynum chipped in 23
off the bench.

“They did a great job,” said Pistons assistant Brian Hill, who has taken over
the team while head coach Lawrence Frank tends to a personal issue. “Those two
guys, basically, kept us in the game.”

Greg Monroe, Jose Calderon and Jason Maxiell all scored in double figures for

The eight-game losing streak matches the longest slide of the season. The
Pistons opened the 2012-13 campaign with eight consecutive setbacks. They also
dropped six in a row in December.

The Nets have won both matchups this season with Detroit and their victory on
Feb. 6 at The Palace snapped a 10-game road losing streak in this series.