Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Clippers Takeaways and Player Grades 11/14/16
The Brooklyn Nets took on the Los Angeles Clippers in the third game of their five-game road trip. Here are takeaways and player grades for the Nets.
The Brooklyn Nets, in the first half of a back-to-back, traveled to Los Angeles to take on the red-hot Clippers. Brooklyn was facing a tall task: trying to defeat the Clippers without Brook Lopez, who was held out of Monday’s game because it was the first game in a back-to-back. Lopez will play Tuesday night, when the Nets visit the Los Angeles Lakers.
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The Clippers got off to a fast start on Monday night, getting out to a 9-2 lead just three minutes into the game. The Nets, who struggled with turnovers against Phoenix, turned the ball over two times in the first three minutes. Facing an early deficit, the Nets went to their second unit midway through the first quarter.
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With Lopez out, the Clippers smartly fed Blake Griffin early. The Clippers had all of the momentum, and the Nets had little answer. Defensively, Brooklyn was overmatched, and offensively, the Nets lacked rhythm to try to cut into LA’s lead. At the end of a lopsided first quarter, the Clippers led 39-14.
Certainly, the Nets were in an early hole, but Nets coach Kenny Atkinson continued to show fight, as he picked up a technical foul early in the second quarter for voicing his displeasure with a referee.
The Nets showed signs of life in the second quarter, as they began to claw their way back into the game. Bojan Bogdanovic played a big part in the Nets’ resurgence. Through the first half, Bogdanovic led the Nets with 14 points, but Los Angeles continued to distance themselves as the quarter went on. At the half, the Clippers held a commanding 71-47 lead. Brooklyn actually outscored Los Angeles 33-32 in the second quarter, but the Clippers nonetheless held a significant lead.
Defensively, the Nets continued to struggle in the second half. The Clippers presented multiple problems for Brooklyn’s defense. The Clippers can, and did score in so many different ways. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, J.J Redick, and Jamal Crawford all filled the bucket up, as the Clippers nearly hit the 100-point mark through three quarters. Heading to the fourth quarter, Los Angeles led 99-65.
Considering the score, the fourth quarter was largely garbage time for the Clippers. Brooklyn utilized the fourth quarter to play some of their reserves, such as Chris McCullough, Yogi Ferrell, and Anthony Bennett.
The outcome was already decided, but Brooklyn did see some progress from some of their younger players in the fourth quarter. When it was said and done, Brooklyn lost 127-95.
1. The Nets struggled mightily without Brook Lopez
Obviously, the Nets were facing a significant challenge of trying to matchup with the Clippers’ front court without Brook Lopez. Justin Hamilton started in Lopez’s place, and did not play well. He put up just three points in 21 minutes. He shot 1-of-5 from the field overall, with his only make being a three-pointer. Speaking of three pointers, Hamilton shot four of his five shots from beyond the arc. Brooklyn also saw Trevor Booker struggle on Monday. Brooklyn’s starting front court, Hamilton and Booker, scored a combined seven points. On the other end of the spectrum, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan scored a combined 27 points. Certainly, the Clippers are a top team in the NBA at this juncture, but the Nets likely would have put up a better fight if Lopez was on the floor.
2. The Nets continued to turn the ball over
Against the Suns, the Nets struggled with turnovers, committing 17. On Monday against the Clippers, the Nets reached, and surpassed that total, turning the ball over 21 times. As for the Clippers, they committed 11. The Nets’ starting lineup committed 13 turnovers, as Sean Kilpatrick led the unit with five. Bojan Bogdanovic committed three, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Trevor Booker each committed two. The Nets were facing an extremely tough opponent, on the road — and on a West coast swing, no less — but the turnovers need to be addressed. The Clippers looked comfortable all night, so that’s not to say that less turnovers would’ve equated to a Nets win. Still, though, Brooklyn must cut down on their turnovers going forward.
3. Brooklyn’s bench contributed when given an opportunity
The fourth quarter of this game was garbage time, as the Clippers had the game in hand. That meant Brooklyn would get an extended look at some of the role players, such as Yogi Ferrell, Chris McCullough, and Anthony Bennett. Yes, these totals came when the game was already all but over, but Ferrell and McCullough combined for 26 points (13 apiece) and Bennett added seven points. Of course this production has to be taken with a grain of salt because of the timing, but nevertheless it’s notable to see Ferrell (who came from the D-League) and McCullough (who has been sent to the D-League to practice) both contribute.
Player of the Game:
SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets
PG , Brooklyn Nets
Up your game, please:
SG/PG, Brooklyn Nets
With the loss, the Nets fall to 4-6 on the young season. Next, the Nets will stay in Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, in the tail end of a back-to-back. As for the Clippers, they improve to an NBA-best 10-1 on the season. They will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday after an off day on Tuesday.