A rough start to the week for Brooklyn, as the team announced on Monday night that Spencer Dinwiddie will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season with a partially torn ACL that will need to be surgically repaired. Send prayers Spencer's way for a speedy recovery.
It was also announced that both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant would sit for Monday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Irving and Durant are both coming off of very serious season ending surgeries from last year, so in an attempt to not push his luck, Nets' head coach Steve Nash opted to rest Irving and Durant for the second game of a back-to-back. Both Kyrie and KD played just over 36 minutes in Sunday night's loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Nets lose OT thriller to the Memphis Grizzlies, 116-111 (2-2)
Brooklyn missed Spencer Dinwiddie sorely on Monday night. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant getting a rest day, the game was turned over to the Nets' bench to try and take down an 0-2 Memphis Grizzlies team. Monday night's game in Brooklyn was an insight to how much losing Dinwiddie has hurt this Nets team. What was once a deep bench that boasted many players who would've been starters on most teams around the league, is now a bench that reflects the Covid and injury ridden bubble Nets that were swept by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of last year's playoffs.
Sean Marks has to figure out how to account for the loss of Spencer Dinwiddie. It is also clear that as of Monday night, Caris LeVert has some more work to do before he can be considered the Nets' third star, Jarrett Allen deserves to be starting at center over the aged DeAndre Jordan - who dropped more easy passes late in the game than I could count on one hand - and the Nets' rebounding has been atrocious over the last two games.
Also, call me a salty Nets fan after a loss, but load managing players is a plague that needs to be eradicated. If you're making $40,000,000 a year, you should be playing every night if you're healthy. The only time I'll ever agree with load management is if you're getting ready for a playoff series and the final few games of the regular season mean nothing to your team.
Nets' top performers
Caris LeVert - 38 minutes, 28 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot - 39 minutes, 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Joe Harris - 41 minutes, 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 50% from three (2 for 4)
A close back and forth game against the Atlanta Hawks ends in a win for the Nets, 145-141 (3-2)
The Nets got off to a slow start Wednesday night. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant returned after taking the previous game against the Memphis Grizzlies off, and Irving struggled to find his rhythm early, but was able to turn it around very quickly, when late in the game he hopped in the drivers seat and took over.
Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks came into this game undefeated at 3-0 and appeared to be one of the hottest team in the East, while the Brooklyn Nets were coming off back-to-back losses to the Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies, and appeared to be slowly cooling off after their hot start to the season.
As I said in the first paragraph, the Hawks lead throughout most of this game. The Nets looked like they were playing tired and unmotivated basketball. It was very frustrating to watch for Nets' fans. Even the two Nets' leaders in KD and Kyrie got into a heated discussion with each other on the sidelines, as neither guy could figure out how to stop the scorching hot Trae Young from carving up the Brooklyn defense. Trae Young dropped 30 points in 30 minutes on the floor, while Hawks' power forward, John Collins, recorded a double-double with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Brooklyn Nets' small forward, Joe Harris, had himself his best game of the season so far, as he was the only player on the Nets who had a consistent game. From start to finish, Harris was there to make the shots when it counted. Kevin Durant and Jarrett Allen both recorded double-doubles against Atlanta, Durant with 33 points and 11 rebounds, and Allen with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Throughout the first five games of the season, the two biggest takeaways for the Nets is that they need to work on their rebounding, and they need to learn to limit the turnovers. Brooklyn has been it's own worst enemy when it comes to giving up easy rebounds, and making careless mistakes that lead to turnovers, otherwise, these last three games against Charlotte, Memphis and Atlanta wouldn't have been as close as they were.
Nets' top performers
Kevin Durant - 34 minutes, 33 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists
Joe Harris - 30 minutes, 23 points, 75% from three (6 for 8)
Jarrett Allen - 24 minutes, 15 points, 13 rebounds
Nets ring in the New Year on the wrong foot, lose to the Atlanta Hawks, 96-114 (3-3)
With a pitiful offensive performance, the Brooklyn Nets lose the latter of their back-to-back games against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. The Hawks, who emerged as Eastern Conference contenders this offseason with a slew of very strong signings and trades, looked to get back on track after losing to the Nets on Wednesday night in Brooklyn. They did more than get back on track, as they dismantled the Nets in every facet of the game Friday evening; rebounds, steals, turnovers, three point percentage, field goal percentage, the Hawks lead all of those categories by a wide margin.
The Nets were abysmal from beyond the arch, as they went seven for 37 from three. Once again, the Nets let turnovers haunt them. Brooklyn accounted for 15 turnovers versus the Hawks nine, and Atlanta was able to score 18 points off of those turnovers compared to Brooklyn's six.
It is clear that Caris LeVert has been struggling offensively lately, and his offensive output is needed now more than ever since the Nets lost a crucial scorer in Spencer Dinwiddie for the rest of the season. It is still early, and the Nets have a lot of new pieces joining the team, so I'm not going to be too hard on them yet. They are still currently trying to build chemistry and feel each other out on the court.
Nets' top performers
Kevin Durant - 37 minutes, 28 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
Kyrie Irving - 33 minutes, 18 points, 11 rebounds
Joe Harris - 28 minutes, 12 points, 7 rebounds
Nets lose heartbreaker to the Washington Wizards, 122-123 (3-4)
The Nets are in a lot of trouble right now. After looking borderline unstoppable in their two preseason games, and then carrying that dominance through the first four games of the regular season, Brooklyn was a sleek, attractive sports car cruising at 100 miles per hour, only to lose control of the car and slam into a brick wall against the Grizzlies, Hawks, and now the Washington Wizards.
The 1-5 Washington Wizards traveled to Brooklyn on Sunday night, where the two ex-teammates and frenemies in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook faced off. On paper, this was a game that Brooklyn should have won 10 times out of 10, but the careless mistakes once again mounted for the Nets at both ends of the floor. Brooklyn gave up 20 turnovers on Sunday night compared to Washington's three. The Nets also couldn't grab a rebound to save their lives, giving up 13 offensive rebounds, and most notably, with the Nets up by one with only a few seconds left to go, Brooklyn gave the Wizards another second chance opportunity, which Washington made sure to capitalize on, putting the Wizards up by one, which turned out to be the deciding bucket.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both had clean looks in the final possession of the game, both of which would have given the Nets the win, but neither guy could get their shots to fall. Caris LeVert continues to struggle in the young season, not being able to find the same groove that he fell into at the end of the season last year that led us all to believe that LeVert could be the Nets third star. He'll hopefully break out of his slow start soon.
It is still early in the season, Brooklyn is still trying to build chemistry, there are a lot of new and young faces on this team still learning and growing, but it is still frustrating to watch, and something has got to give soon. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been as stellar and as electric as advertised, but it is becoming more clear that the team cannot continue to rely on just their scoring prowess alone. The absence of a consistent third scorer on this team is glaring.
Nets' top performers
Kyrie Irving - 39 minutes, 30 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Kevin Durant - 37 minutes, 28 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot - 23 minutes, 14 points, 4 rebounds, 80% from three (4 for 5)
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Have a great week, Nets fans.