Oct 13, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin (7) defends against Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) as he plays the ball during a preseason game during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Article continues below ...
After a solid week 1, the Nets dropped to 0-2 this week. Considering it is only preseason, there is not too much to worry about yet. Here is a quick roundup of week 2 of preseason.
Want your voice heard? Join the Nothin' But Nets team!
The Brooklyn Nets showed much of the same this week compared to week one. Although the Nets lost both games this week, there were still good things to take away from the losses. What stands out most is that no starter has played more than 29 minutes a night yet. This shows that the Nets are resting their best players, while also trying to figure out which lineup works. The good news is the games may be closer when Brook Lopez starts playing around 34 minutes a night.
What was disappointing from this week was the Celtics game. Not only did the Nets fall apart in crunch time, but the young guys never saw the floor. I would have much rather seen Isaiah Whitehead or Yogi Ferrell at point guard than Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez was easily the Nets’ weakest link Thursday night, having the lowest plus/minus on the team, with -14. He had weak defense and at the end of the game, did not help the Nets on offense either. With so many guards on the team, it would have made sense to take out Vasquez and play Whitehead or Ferrell.
For the Nets to succeed in the regular season, they will need to play Jeremy Lin and Lopez more. Not only those two players, but Luis Scola and Trevor Booker have been solid for the Nets so far. If these veteran guys continue to play well, it could have a positive impact on the rest of the team.
Oct 11, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Luis Scola (4) is fouled by Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson (8) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Player of the Week: Luis Scola
Stat Averages for the Week
13 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4 assists
This was a tough call. Jeremy Lin played well this week and could have easily gotten player of the week. The reason I am giving this to Scola is because he is playing much better than expected. His field goal percentage is not great, but he is making all the right plays when he is on the court. He is taking shots when he is open and making the right pass when he is covered. Considering this is the weakest position on the Nets, it is a good sign that both veteran power forwards are being productive. Not to mention, Scola had a double-double in his last game with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hopefully this production carries on into the regular season.
Oct 13, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin plays the ball while being defended by Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) during a preseason game during the second half at Barclays Center. The Celtics won 100-97. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Where do the Nets need to improve?
Once again, the Nets really struggle when Lopez and Lin come out of the game. There is a major drop in talent when those two are not on the floor. The Nets really need to find a source of offense from the bench. Until the Nets find a rotation that works, this will continue to be the problem. Another problem for this team is their off-ball movement. They mostly drive and kick. There needs to be more off-ball screens and cutting in order to get the defense out of position. Without those two things, they will struggle to get open shots.
One more minor thing seen in the last game that should be changed is the playing time. Chris McCullough, Yogi Ferrell, and Isaiah Whitehead all did not see the floor Thursday. Now is the time for the Nets to experiment with their young guys because these games do not count. In the regular season, Atkinson may trust the veterans more to keep the game close when the starters come out. But right now, it is in the Nets’ best interest to find which young guys can give the Nets good bench depth for when the regular season arrives. It would also be good experience for them as well.