The Nets finished the first week of the season 2-1. Here’s a look back at their last two games.
The Brooklyn Nets faced off against the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day and put on an absolute clinic in the second half. While the game was tight in the first half, Brooklyn took over in the second half, winning 123-95.
Durant and Kyrie accounted for more than half of the teams’ points in the win (66). Caris LeVert was the only other double-digit scorer in the game (10). While only three players had double-digits, twelve Nets scored against Boston. They shot over 50-percent from the field and the three-point line. When your two best players consist of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and shots are falling at that type of pace, a win is as likely as James Harden partying on an off-day.
The Nets fell to the Hornets on Sunday night in a game that was likely to happen at some point. Ideally, it would happen later in the season and not the third game. The only positive that could be taken is that they played awful and only lost 106-104.
While the Hornets are by no means a contender yet, they play hard for 48 minutes. Just the night before they came back from 13 against the Thunder in the final two minutes to tie before OKC hit a game-winner. In their first game against Cleveland, they outscored the Cavs in the third and fourth quarters while only a point was the difference in the first. They would have likely won the game behind Terry Rozier’s 42-point game if the Cavs didn’t outscore them by 20 in the second quarter. All their ‘almost’ and ‘what-if’s’ came full circle against Brooklyn on Sunday.
Brooklyn didn’t look great against Charlotte, but at least they didn’t play well and lose. Of all the issues they had, let’s look at the ones we should and shouldn’t be concerned about.
DeAndre Jordan being a starter is just comical at this point. He had 12 boards but most of those were uncontested by the Hornets or him going up against a teammate for it. He had one point and didn’t even play in the fourth quarter, bringing his minute total to 19.
Jarrett Allen had 14 rebounds over 25 minutes coming off the bench. While he made one of his only two shot attempts, he made six of his eight free throws. Allen is younger and has fewer miles on him. He’s also another five years away from what would be considered his prime, while Jordan is past his.
While Allen played better, he did that thing again where he showed no aggression. He doesn’t seem to have a mean streak in him. While he doesn’t need to go out and start fights, it would be nice if he didn’t let guards literally throw him to the ground and do nothing about it. He’s good, yes, but he could be so much better if he just had a little aggressiveness at times. I worry about him getting out-manned in a meaningful playoff series against Embiid or Giannis in the playoffs, and don’t even get me started on if he has to match up with Bam.
The Nets had their worst shooting game of the season from the field, the line, and most noticeably behind the arch. While this wasn’t ideal, I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. The likelihood of them just missing wide open and uncontested threes as they did on Sunday is extremely unlikely moving forward. Games like this happen, but with teams this talented, they don’t happen often. Taurean Prince and Landry Shamet combined to go 0 for 13 from three and that’s just not going to be the norm.
The Nets looked out of control at times and while that looks concerning, it is something that can be fixed. This team has been playing together, counting camp, for under a month. While some pieces are back, it is a new team and Steve Nash is still getting a handle on coaching.
Lastly, KD was in charge for the Nets last night and they just needed to play through him in the second half and didn’t. Yes, he missed a game-tying shot at the end, but if they deferred to him more through the second half then they wouldn’t have been in that position.
All this week’s matchups will be in Brooklyn.
Grizzlies- Monday 7:30 NBATV
Hawks- Wednesday 7:30
Hawks- Friday 7:30
Wizards- Sunday 6:00 NBATV