Improved Facilitator Would Help Brooklyn Nets’ Second Half Production
The Brooklyn Nets are not a good team this year, and their record is a direct indication of that. Still, their losses are not due to lack of trying. They’re a young team that gives effort every game, but could benefit with a true point guard on the floor night in and night out.
There are a few factors that lead to the Brooklyn Nets’ droughts that seem to always come in the second half of games. The first is turnovers, the second is execution, and the third is that lack of a star to take over games during these spells.
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The issue of a star isn’t going to be figured out this season. Center Brook Lopez is the team’s best player, but he has never been known to carry a team for games in their entirety. The Nets also have young players who show promise, but are not ready to take control of the team. The factors of execution and turnovers are directly due to the lack of a high-caliber point guard on the roster.
The Nets signed point guards Jeremy Lin and Greivis Vasquez to run the offense this past offseason. Neither of these two guards are the best, but they have NBA experience. That experience helps them push past tough stretches in games that can bury a team.
Injuries have affected both Lin and Vasquez this season, but the Nets have made do the best they could. They signed Spencer Dinwiddie from the D-League, making him the only true point guard on the roster. While he has played a lot of minutes, his play has been lackluster, to put it kindly.
To go with Dinwiddie, head coach Kenny Atkinson has used different lineups to make up for the lack a ball-handler. Sean Kilpatrick, Randy Foye, Caris LeVert, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Bojan Bogdanovic have been tasked with picking up the slack. They have played out of position most of the season and consequently, struggled in the process.
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The results have been mostly bad, as expected. The Nets start games strong, playing well in the first half, then fall apart in the third and fourth quarters. Fans of the team just wait for the turnovers to pile up and the offense to get stagnant during the second half of each game.
Jeremy Lin may not be the answer for all the Nets problems, but he gives the Nets a better chance to win when healthy. His ability to handle the ball would be a perk during the latter phases of games.
This isn’t limited to just Lin — any skilled point guard would be an upgrade from their current situation. However, until Lin returns, the Nets will continue to struggle with offensive execution and turnovers. The only silver lining is young players getting valuable experience.
Rebuilding allows Coach Atkinson the liberties to play these lineups and continue to struggle, but it is still tough to watch. The Nets need a real point guard in the worst way, but for now, fans must continue to hope Lin gets healthy or a star emerges.