Jan 15, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee (24) moves against Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Portland Trail Blazers won 116-104. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
The Brooklyn Nets (4-9) were blown out by the Portland Trail Blazers (8-7) by 20 points. The game itself was mostly a fast paced game played by the Trailblazers and the Nets were recipients of this fast paced offense that they couldn’t play up to. The Nets were lead by Brook Lopez, who scored 21 points, grabbed six boards, and four assists. Trevor Booker had 16 points and four rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 15 points.
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The Nets were only down by six at half time with the Blazers scoring 70 points and the Nets scoring 64 points. The Trailblazers were leading by 10 at the second quarter but around the 5:00 mark, the Nets started to close in the lead at around the 3:00 mark, until the last 40 seconds, where the Portland Trail Blazers closed the half and led by six. CJ McCollum contributed to the strong third quarter by making 4 threes (including that bouncing ball that hit the top of the backboard). The fourth quarter was all Blazers.
The Nets were out rebounded by the Trail Blazers 50-36. Most of these rebounds led to transition threes. The story of this entire game was how fast paced the Portland Trail Blazers played and how slow the Nets were in terms of responding and their way of play. The Portland Trailblazers shot 41.7 percent on threes, which is pretty efficient for the team as a whole. The Nets as a whole team need to respond better when it comes to opponents scoring 120 points or over in four straight games.
It’s no question that the Nets played really slow today. Throughout the game, you see the Blazers sprinting across the full court and really moving the ball around (something the Nets didn’t do much). The Nets couldn’t catch up with the pace of the Portland Trail Blazers and they were gassed out by the second half, where the game was starting to get out of hand and the Nets ended the third quarter losing by 15 points. The Trail Blazers were pretty much perfect on offense. The players were making cuts, the right passes, and taking smart three point shots by drawing the defense away to give the ball to the open man. Not only were the Nets were slow, but they had no answer for the three point shootout from the Portland Trail Blazers.
2. The Nets have to step it up on defense.
For the fourth straight game, the Nets have allowed 120+ points, which is an aspect that the Nets must fix. It’s happening too frequently and the Nets need to fix that. The Nets need to play much harder on defense, move the ball around, stop taking silly shots, and get back on defense.
3. The Back-Court of Lillard/McCollum was too much for the Nets backcourt.
Damien Lillard scored 18 points while McCollum scored 33 points from 12-of-19 shooting. McCollum shot 60% from three (6-of-10). McCollum was shooting from all angles, including that lucky three pointer that had a bouncing support on the top of the backboard. From that point on, everyone watching knew that the Blazers were on fire. No one in the Blazers had a bad night as they shot 57.6 percent as a team overall. The Nets on the other hand, had their back-court of Isaiah Whitehead and Bojan Bogdanovic. While they had decent games, they couldn’t keep up with the pace of the Blazers back-court. This is where the absence of Jeremy Lin impacts the Nets. Lin, when on the floor, is able to attack the basket at all times at will while providing some well needed scoring from the point guard spot. The Nets have no issue in scoring, but the Nets really miss Jeremy Lin when it comes to back-court play.
Nov 20, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Mason Plumlee (24) dunks the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Barclays Center. The Trail Blazers won 129-109. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Player of the Game:
Brook Lopez led the team with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting (57.1%) with six boards and four assists. Lopez started the game 7-of-7, but had a disappointing second half. He was at no fault at all because his team as a whole couldn’t deliver the offense and provide him with better shots in the second half. The Nets as a whole have to play better and not let players cut to the basket or let three players defend one guy with the ball.
Trevor Booker scored 16 points from 7-of-9 shooting (77.8 %) and grabbed two boards. He was perhaps the only Brooklyn Net on the team that played hard and tried to rally his team to fight back Portland Trail Blazers. Booker tried to do a little bit of everything in terms of defense, passing etc. While Booker couldn’t do as much due to his teammates unable to deliver, Booker is the heart and soul of the Nets.
Up your game, please:
Sean Kilpatrick had the lowest total points scored in the Barclays Center as he scored only 3 points in 1-of-9 shooting (11.1%). Kilpatrick has had some good games at home, but this is obviously the worst one he had. Kilpatrick is going to have to bounce back from this terrible shooting night and get better for their next game as the Nets need his scoring in the upcoming games.