Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Takeaways and Grades 11/15/16

Nov 15, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) dunks the ball as Los Angeles Lakers players watch Julius Randle (30) and Nick Young (0) and Brandon Ingram (14) react during a NBA basketball game at Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Nets 125-118. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets lost their second straight on their road trip to the Los Angeles Lakers in a high-scoring, highly competitive showdown. The Nets are sticking around in games until the very end, but they are struggling to put it away at key points of the game.

It seems like it’s going to be a common theme for the Nets: they will loom around the lead in every single game, but, more often than not, will blow their lead, or fail to come back when it matters most. This happened again in their trip to Los Angeles to play the Lakers.

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The Nets got off to a hot start, taking a 29-27 lead after the 1st quarter, but it was all downhill from there. They found themselves down by five going into the half and outscored again in the third. Brooklyn outscored the Lakers 33-32 in the 4th quarter, but by then it was too late.

D’Angelo Russell absolutely dominated the Nets defense, shooting for 11-of-20, including 7-of-13 from behind the arc and 3-of-4 from the free throw line.

The Nets on the other hand shot 45.5 percent and 29.3 percent behind the arc which was their downfall. Despite their efforts for a comeback in the 4th quarter, they just fell short.

There is still a lot to like about this Nets team, but there is also a lot that they need to work on if they are going to be a successful team in this top heavy Eastern Conference.

All we can do at this point is hope that the Nets will find their groove, and work on a few things for their next game. Because it is the little things that make or break the game.

Nov 15, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle (30) is defended by Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker (35) during a NBA basketball game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways

1. The Nets defense has yet to improve.

When you give up 125 points in a game, you have to get really lucky if you are going to find a win. To make matters worse, this is the second game in a row that the Nets have given up 125+ points in a game, and it isn’t going to get easier when they travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder. It’s almost as if no one decided to show up today because the amount of wide open threes in the game were unacceptable. If the Lakers were any more accurate from behind the arc, then they probably would have approached the 150-point mark.

2. The Nets need to get more rebounds on both sides of the ball.

A big reason that the Nets lost this high scoring game was because the Lakers were able to get possession of the ball more often. In total, the Lakers had 55 rebounds to the Nets 47, but the bigger issue was the fact that the Lakers had 14 offensive rebounds to the Nets 9. Los Angeles was able to capitalize on their offensive rebounds, which pretty much made the difference in Brooklyn’s loss. If they are going to find any success, then they are going to need to be more aggressive rebounding the ball.

3. The Nets like to see their opponents on the free throw line.

The Lakers found their way onto the free throw line way too much in this game. They shot 34-of-43 from the free throw line, which is just unacceptable. Brooklyn practically gave them an easy 34 points which gave the Lakers an easy upper-hand. Granted, some of these did come at the end of the game where it’s necessary to foul your opponent and send them to the line, but even with that fact, the Lakers were at the line way too much.

Nov 15, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (14) is defended by Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) and guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during a NBA basketball game at Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Nets 125-118. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Player of the Game:

Brook Lopez

C, Brooklyn Nets

A

Brook Lopez didn’t play in the team’s last game against the Los Angeles Clippers and it wasn’t that hard to tell since their offensive numbers were down. Now that he’s back, the Nets looked just as strong offensively as they have all season. Lopez shot 10-of-25, also adding 4-of-11 from behind the arc and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He ended his game with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks, adding his second double-double on the season.

Wildcard:

Bojan Bogdanovic

SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets

B+

Bojan Bogdanovic was just everywhere on the court today. Bogdanovic shot for 11-of-18, adding 2-of-5 from three point range and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line. He scored 29 points on the day and proved that he can be a play-maker when given the chance. He aggressiveness in the paint and range from behind the arc made it difficult to find answers for him during the game.

Up your game, please

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

SF, Brooklyn Nets

F

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was just non-existent all game. It’s like the only times you saw him during the game was when he fouled somebody. He went a disgusting 1-of-5 with an even worse 0-of-2 from behind the arc. Hollis-Jefferson ended his game with only 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals, but he played nowhere near the level he has in this past week and a half. There’s no grade low enough that I could give him because with his performance, I’d give him a Z. All in all, not a good game whatsoever for him. He needs to step it up in the games to come.

With the loss, the Nets drop to 4-7 on the season. With the completion of their back-to-back, Brooklyn will now have both Wednesday and Thursday off. On Friday, the Nets will travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder.

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