Coming off their best week of the season at 2-2, the Nets looked to get on track with a home-heavy schedule in December. Instead, they continued to leave their defense in 2012. This team is not good on either end of the floor right now, and really need their starting point-guard back. Deron WIlliams showed in the second half of last season how good this team can be when him and Brook Lopez are on the floor together, day-in and day-out. And when Williams, Lopez, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were on the floor together early on, is when you saw the best from this team. Wins against Miami and hard-fought defensive battles with Indiana were proof. It was depth injuries and unfamiliarity than that plagued this team. Now its injuries on all fronts, and a lack of energy, especially on the defensive end. Now here’s a look back at this weeks 3 games.
Game 18: vs Denver
It was a chance to prove themselves against a good team, finally start a win streak, and make a push at home. Instead, it turned into another blowout. They couldn’t defend, they couldn’t keep up with the young, fast Nuggets, and they couldn’t rebound. All recipes for disaster. Not to mention another horrible 3rd quarter, the norm for this team.
The Nets actually got off to a good start, winning the 1st quarter, but the Nuggest defense got hot, as did their everything on offense, scoring 31 in both the 2nd and 3rd quarters. It didn’t help that Brook Lopez was not good, on either end, and that never ends well for Brooklyn. Their all-star center allowed Timofey Mozgov to have a crazy night, 17 points and 20 rebounds.
- Joe Johnson with a team high 22, Kevin Garnett and Andray Blatche both pulled down 6 boards, and Shaun Livingston led the way with 4 assists.
L Nuggets 111 – Nets 87
Game 19: vs New York
The two teams entered action a combined 8-26, but the final score made the Knicks look like a top team, and the Nets the near bottom-dwellers that they are so far. Another poor start by Brooklyn saw them down as many as 15 in the 1st quarter once again. They would finish the quarter down 7, and play an even 2nd to keep it a game. Then the dreaded 3rd quarter hit. Iman Shumpert, who’s been inconsistent for New York, went off as a part of the Knicks domination of the 3rd quarter, outscoring Brooklyn by himself.
Early on, it looked like Brook Lopez might be able to dominate down low, as he should’ve, with New York missing their star center Tyson Chandler. But poor shooting early, along with foul trouble, held back Lopez from what could’ve been a monster effort. Add to that another night of poor 3-point defense, and you can see why the Nets were blown out again, in their own building, against a then 3-win team.
Make it two straight games of allowing over a 110 points for this very bad Brooklyn defense. Not only was the effort on the court lacking again, the fan support wasn’t there either, as from the introductions, the black and white of Barclays Center, was dominated by the blue and orange. It was a bad night all around.
- Brook Lopez did lead the way in scoring, putting up 20 to go with his team high 9 rebounds. A poor assist night meant Andray Blatche’s 3 were the most by a Net in the blowout.
L Knicks 113 – Nets 83
Game 20: @ Milwaukee
It wasn’t pretty, but who cares? The Nets needed a win, and they picked one up on the road to end the week. Brook Lopez was the reason why, carrying the team with 20 of their 39 1st half points. Lopez needed an effort like that, after a bad start to the week.
Another win means another won 3rd quarter. Alan Anderson and Joe Johnson helped Lopez out in that quarter, both finishing in double figures. The Nets did a good job handling the rock, turning it over just 8 times. Another bad night shooting the 3, but the ones they did hit came in big spots to help build a 2nd half lead. The defense showed up for once, and my favorite part, is they took advantage of the mismatch down low. See Lopez’s night. He knew he was bigger and stronger, and the Nets got him the ball for 13 field-goal attempts. They have to do a better job of this, as Lopez is bigger than most centers in the league. And he’s starting to play like that.
- Brook Lopez with a season high 32 points, Andray Blatche and Kevin Garnett again tied for a team high 8 rebounds and Joe Johnson led with 5 dimes.
W Nets 90 – Bucks 82
So they enter week 2 of December at 6-14. A big test awaits on Tuesday at home, as the Atlantic leading Celtics come to Brooklyn. Boston is only 9-12, but lead the weak division and of course have half the 2012-2013 Nets on their roster after the Pierce/Garnett deal. Pierce of course will miss the first game against his old team with his fractured finger, but Garnett is sure to be fired up for it. Then the Clippers come in on Thursday. Brooklyn then hits the road for a game in Detroit to finish up the week on Friday. Revenge should be on the Nets minds for those 2 matchups, as they lost to both already this year.