Brooklyn Nets Weekly Roundup: Week 3

Nov 9, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose (25) drives against Brooklyn Nets power forward Trevor Booker (35) and Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick (6) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets improved to 4-5 this week. This was Brooklyn’s first week of the season with a winning record. Looking at the teams they played, it is understandable, but nevertheless, they played well.

  1. Nets Assign McCullough to D-League… Then Recall Him… And We Lost Track

The Nets assigned Chris McCullough to the D-League and then almost immediately called him back up. It was known that the Nets wanted to assign McCullough to the D-League, but it seems the Nets are unsure when to perform this action.

2. Nets Hold Off T-Wolves in High-Scoring Game

Of the two wins the Nets had this week, this game was more impressive. The Timberwolves have three players averaging 20 or more points per game. Even though they have a bad record ,they are still a talented team.

3. Nets Release Greivis Vasquez and Sign Yogi Ferrell

With Jeremy Lin out and Greivis Vasquez being waived, the Nets were short on point guards. This forced their hand and they called up Yogi Ferrell. Ferrell was with the team during preseason, but was the final player to be cut from Brooklyn’s roster.

4. Isaiah Whitehead Diagnosed With Concussion

Just what the Nets needed, another injured point guard. With Isaiah Whitehead out with a concussion, the Nets’ only true point guard is Yogi Ferrell. As a result, Sean Kilpatrick has started as point guard, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has point-forward for the Nets.

5. Nets Drop to Knicks After Stagnant Fourth Quarter

After being up by as much as 10, the Nets failed to hold their lead against the New York Knicks. Hot shooting from the Knicks turned a five-point halftime deficit into a 14-point win.

6. How Randy Foye Found Strength in His Upbringing

Randy Foye is the Nets’ most experienced veteran on their roster. Check out Foye’s journey off the court and how he overcame adversity to get to where he is today.

7. Nets Earn First Road Win Against the Suns

The Nets picked up their fourth win of the season on the road. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had his best performance of the season: putting up 20 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists. He is looking better and better every game.

Nets Record this Week: 2-1

Nets 119 – Timberwolves 110

Nets 96 – Knicks 110

Nets 122 – Suns 104

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Thoughts

After struggling through the early season to pick up a road win, the Nets finally got one. This week also marked the first week this season that Brooklyn had a winning record. Granted, each team the Nets played this week has a losing record. But this team should beat teams lower than them in the standings. If the Nets have any hope of making the playoffs, they have to win against weaker opponents. Another note to add is that the injuries the Nets suffered couldn’t have come at a better time. With the schedule getting tougher as the month goes on, Brooklyn will need to return to full health soon.

Nov 12, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) drives to the net against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Nets won 122-104. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Player of the Week: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Stat Averages for the Week

13.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 45% FG

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a player Nets fans should keep an eye on. At 21 years old, he has plenty of time to develop. This past week, we saw glimpses of what he can do, and it is exciting to see what the future holds for Hollis-Jefferson.

Hollis-Jefferson’s most outstanding game this week was yesterday’s win over the Suns. He had a career-high 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Hollis-Jefferson is only in his second season and is already showing advancements in his game. His shot may not be the prettiest, but from inside the three-point line, it is much better than last year. When he expands his range and steps behind the three-point line, there is noticeable hitch in his shot. He knows this, and the shooting coaches know this. Hollis-Jefferson has talked about how he is improving his shot, but it will take time. They are working on his close and mid-range shots now. In time, once he has a smooth mid-range shot, they will work on his long-range shooting.

Coach Atkinson has trusted Hollis-Jefferson to run the offense at times, allowing him the opportunity to play point-forward. Given that point guard is not his natural position, he has done a good job. Aside from from this, we already know about his size and athleticism. This allows Hollis-Jefferson to guard the opposing team’s best player, grab rebounds, and finish around the hoop. If the Nets work with him on developing a consistent jump shot, he could be Brooklyn’s best player in two to three years. For now, Hollis-Jefferson has been playing well for the Nets. He is still a work in progress for Brooklyn, but it is nice to see what he is capable of.

Nov 9, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots a three point shot over Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) and Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Defense

This team has been playing well, but they are noticeably bad on defense. The Nets play at the highest pace in the league and for good reason. Brooklyn is a younger group, so going up and down the floor quickly can wear down the opponent. The other more obvious reason is to get more possessions throughout the game. Pace is calculated on how many possessions the team has in 48 minutes. By gaining more possessions, the Nets have more chances to score.

The problem with this high pace is the Nets do not have the defense to back it up. It is clear that the Nets try to outscore their opponents every game. The Nets are averaging 106.3 points per game. That is 11th highest in the league. They are also attempting 34.2 three-pointers per game, which is third in the league behind Houston and Cleveland.

But having a high scoring offense does not secure wins. If the Nets have a bad shooting night, they are more than likely to lose because they do not have the defense to keep the game close. A perfect example was Wednesday’s game against the Knicks. The Nets had trouble getting their offense going in the second half and had no way of slowing down the Knicks. That is why the game took a huge turn in the second half.

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