Nov 2, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
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The Brooklyn Nets struggled to compete this week after doing fairly well this season. They now sit at 4-9 and have dropped to 13th in the Eastern Conference.
The fourth week of the NBA season didn’t go exactly as the Brooklyn Nets would have liked. The team dropped all four games this week to the Clippers, Lakers, Thunder, and Trail Blazers. Considering the Nets are not an All-Star team and would roam at the bottom of the playoff hunt if they do make it at all, it isn’t surprising that they dropped all of these games.
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Each of these teams are valid playoff teams and threats to be the 2016-17 NBA Champions. The Lakers are the only team that you would need to question here and, although it’s early, I do think they will make the playoffs.
Scoring is still not an issue for the Nets, as they only scored under 100 in their trip to LA against the Clippers. That was their first game of their week, which they dropped 127-95, to the team with the best record in the NBA. One reason they probably missed the triple digit mark was because their star Brook Lopez didn’t play in the game. Their trip in LA continued with a loss to the Lakers, 125-118, that was played until the very end. Unfortunately, the Nets came out on the losing side of it.
The Nets found themselves in Oklahoma City against the Thunder in their last game of their road trip, which they dropped 124-105. Their final game of the week came against the Trail Blazers in their first game back in Brooklyn, which they also dropped by a score of 129-109.
It’s evident that there’s still much to work on. The Nets are the tenth highest scoring team with 106.3 points per game, but their defense is still an issue. I’ve said it all season, yet there has been no improvement. I actually think they looked worse than usual this week.
Let’s take a look at how they match up in next week’s games.
Nov 18, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Yogi Ferrell (10) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Semaj Christon (6) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
A Look At Next Week’s Games
The Nets’ schedule will ease up this week. They faced four teams that were all playoff contenders, but this week they will play three teams that aren’t nearly as talented. Not to say they are guaranteed to win all of these games, but there odds are a lot better than they were last week. Here are my predictions for week five of Nets basketball.
Boston Celtics @ Brooklyn Nets
The Nets are going to need to change gears eventually to find their fifth win and I think that it will come against the Celtics in a favorable home match up. The Nets are 3-3 at home as opposed to their 1-6 on the road, so location means a lot when looking at the results of this game. Boston’s offense hasn’t been as dominant as the Nets, so I think that Brooklyn will outplay them on that side of the ball.
Prediction: Nets take down Celtics with the help of a high powered offense.
Brooklyn Nets @ Indiana Pacers
The Nets got the better of the Pacers in their first game of the season, winning 103-94 in Brooklyn which was one of their better defensive performances of the season. I don’t think the Nets find another win against the Pacers though. They are on the road which doesn’t bode well for them. I also think the Pacers will come into this game with the offensive firepower that they need to take down Brooklyn.
Prediction: Nets drop their first game to Indiana, lacking the offense to get past the Pacers.
Sacramento Kings @ Brooklyn Nets
The Kings are having a similar season to the Nets. They are 5-9 on the season, only half a game better than Brooklyn and I think that this game will reflect how even these teams are compared to each other. Sacramento is one of the lower scoring teams in the league, ranking 23rd in the league in scoring, but with how the Nets defense plays, they are sure to find production.
Prediction: Nets find another home win in this game in a shootout.
Nov 8, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) reacts after dunking over Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Who To Watch For
If the Nets want to turn things around, they are going to need a lot of help. Fortunately, the Nets have a talented roster that can supply the help they need.
Lopez will always be either a player to watch for or a player that needs to step up unless he gets hurt. Last week’s game against the Clippers just solidified my opinion that the Nets need him on the court to be successful offensively. Lopez is averaging 20.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, but needs to carry his team more if they want to end over .500 this season.
Lopez can’t be the only one scoring on offense, so these two players are going to need to step up to help him out. Let’s start with Bogdanovic. He is by far one of the more talented playmakers on this team. He proved that with his 29 point performance against the Lakers. Since then, he has leveled out and has averaged 14 points in his last two performances. He needs to step up and make big plays for his team, but Brooklyn needs to give him a chance to perform and get the ball in his hands.
If Lin is able to return, that can be huge since he is one of the team’s top offensive play-makers and just brings a new energy to the team. With him on the court, the Nets are a completely different team.