Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics Takeaways and Player Grades

Nov 23, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick (6) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On the evening before Thanksgiving, the Boston Celtics defeated the Brooklyn Nets 111-92 at Barclays Center. Isaiah Thomas and Sean Kilpatrick led their respective teams in scoring, each putting up 23 a piece.

The Brooklyn Nets started the night out slow, falling behind by as much as 14 points in the first quarter. This was a result of a flurry of careless turnovers from Isaiah Whitehead and Joe Harris throughout the course of the first period.

Brooklyn then found their footing a bit in second quarter, even cutting the once controlling Boston lead to two points at one point. This comeback was powered by gritty play from Trevor Booker, and series of threes from Bojan Bogdanovic and Brook Lopez. After a Harris three to end the half, the Celtics entered the locker-room with a measly two point advantage.

The game remained competitive until around the four minute mark of the third. Booker was called for a controversial offensive foul call which sparked the beginning of a drastic shift in the momentum of the game.

The Celtics shot the lights out from that point in the game until the final buzzer sounded. The Nets’ turnover and defensive issues escalated until the game became blowout late in the fourth quarter. Brooklyn’s bench cleared, signaling their acceptance of defeat to the team who owns their first round pick this season.

Nov 23, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Jae Crowder (99) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 23, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Jae Crowder (99) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways

1. The Nets’ turnover dilemma is getting out of hand fast

Brooklyn committed 19 turnovers on the night which has unfortunately become the norm for them. Booker, Kilpatrick, Harris and Luis Scola all contributed three turnovers a piece leading to a variety of easy offensive opportunities for the Celtics on the other end of the floor.

The large amount of lazy passes made by the Nets is simply unacceptable. It seemed that almost every time the Nets’ guards would push the ball, Boston was able to telegraph the passes perfectly. As Brooklyn’s second half collapse rolled around, it was clear the Celtics had the Nets figured out in transition. Perhaps letting ball handlers such as Whitehead and Yogi Ferrell push the ball on fast breaks would be more effective than having a big like Booker push the ball up the court.

2. When it rains, it pours for the Nets

Coming off of a defensive collapse, which Brooklyn had plenty of last night, the Nets seemed to panic the next offensive possession on several occasions. Instead of setting up a play and taking time to find the open man, the Nets opted to attempt to force the ball into the paint or take a quick contested three. As Kenny Atkinson simply said to his team during their first timeout in the midst of a Celtics run: “calm down!” This sloppy play on offense following a defensive breakdown will most of the time cause the bleeding to become worse, as was demonstrated on Wednesday night.

3. The Nets’ guard play on defense needs work

Brooklyn gave up a combined 55 points to Thomas and his backcourt running mate, Avery Bradley last night. This scoring outburst also came while the two shot well above 38 percent from the field. This lackluster performance defending opposing guards comes just days after being abused by the Portland Trail Blazers explosive backcourt.

While Rondae Hollis-Jefferson gave a solid effort on the perimeter defensively, as he always does, his fellow defenders outside the paint were mediocre. Particularly, Harris and Kilpatrick looked completely lost coming off screens, leading to several easy Boston three pointers. After two straight beatings from opposing guards, the Nets perimeter defenders will ideally be very motivated to make adjustments for their next contest.

Nov 23, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Player Grades

Player of the Game:

Trevor Booker

PF, Brooklyn Nets

A-

After giving a heart warming speech before tipoff to the Barclays Center crowd about the holiday season, Trevor Booker went out there and gave it his all. Once again defining what Brooklyn Grit means, Booker finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Even when the Nets were in their darkest moments on Wednesday night Booker still fought his hardest for every offensive board and every loose ball. He is proving more and more every game why he was the steal of the Nets’ offseason.

Wildcard:

Bojan Bogdanovic

SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets

B

Bojan Bogdanovic contributed a quiet 14 points and eight rebounds in this contest. He mostly played second fiddle to players who had the ball in their hands a lot such as Kilpatrick and Lopez on Wednesday night, but he did indeed come through with a bucket when needed. He put up this stat line very efficiently, shooting 50 percent from the field overall.

Up Your Game, Please….

Luis Scola

PF, Brooklyn Nets

D-

It is becoming more and more difficult every contest to find redeeming qualities in Luis Scola’s game at this point in his career. The backup big man shot 0-of-2 from the field and had four turnovers while playing in 12 minutes of action. His play on the defensive end of the floor only further proved that he should be in heavy consideration to be cut from the rotation. With Scola’s game only appearing to decline as his career progresses, the question then must be asked; how long will Coach Atkinson continue to play him until Chris McCullough gets his shot in the rotation?

With the loss, the Nets fall to 4-10 on the season.  The loss is Brooklyn’s fifth straight. After having Thanksgiving off, the Nets will travel to Indiana to take on the 7-9 Pacers on Friday.

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