Brooklyn Nets

Nets fared no chance against the Celtics in back-to-back losses

The Nets took back-to-back losses against the Boston Celtics, including one loss that became the second-worst loss in franchise history. They have lost six of their last 10 games and are currently on a two-game losing streak. The Nets hold a 21-33 record and are 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings heading into the All-Star Break.

Jayson Tatum shreds Nets for 41 points

The Nets could not take care of the Boston Celtics in a 118-110 loss in their first of a back-to-back home-and-home matchup. Jayson Tatum was unstoppable with a 41-point performance and helped carry the Celtics on Tuesday for the win. Tatum scored the majority of his points in the first half, scoring 15 in the first and 16 in the second.

While Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas put up great performances scoring over 20 points each, they had no answers on the defensive side as the Celtics were able to run through the Nets throughout the game. The Celtics were up by as much as 20 points in the first half before the Nets were able to slightly cut down the lead heading into halftime. They still had some fight in them despite being down throughout the entire game as both teams went back and forth at the three-point line in the final minutes of the game.

A three-pointer by Bridges put the deficit down to six. However, the Celtics did not give the Nets many opportunities to score as they were able to stretch their lead out and chew up the clock to get the win. The win propelled the Celtics to their fifth straight win and their ninth win out of the last 1o matchups over the Nets. 

For the Nets, Bridges had 27 points, while Thomas finished with 26 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Nic Claxton had a near double-double with 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Off the bench, Lonnie Walker IV had 15 points and two steals. 

For the Celtics, Tatum had a double-double with 41 points and 14 rebounds, along with five assists and two steals. Jaylen Brown had 19 points and five rebounds, while Derrick White had 16 points. Al Horford had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Jrue Holiday also had a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists, along with two steals. 

A heartbreaking Valentine’s Day loss for the Nets

The Nets were destroyed in their second meetup in a 136-86 loss over the Celtics. The loss was the second-worst loss in Nets’ franchise history, second to a 52-point defeat to the Houston Rockets in 1978. The game began horribly for the Nets with a 26-8 scoring run by the Celtics, which was a sign of things to come.

Kristaps Porzingis returned after a lower back injury, but only played in the first half after rolling his ankle in the second quarter. Horford was also out for Wednesday's game with a toe sprain. The Celtics proceeded to shoot the lights out, making 22-of-44 three-pointers  and shooting 57.1% for the night. The Nets on the other hand shot 38.3% for the night and only made 10 of their 31 attempted threes. Only Bridges and Trendon Watford were in double digits on the box score as the rest of the Nets’ squad scored less than 10 points each.

The Nets trailed by as much as 56 points in the fourth, having absolutely no chance to take the game back and getting embarrassed at The Garden. It was a true wake up call for the organization that they need a lot of rebuilding to do and that they don’t have any capabilities of beating the number one team in the East so far. The Nets had an absolute heartbreak of a Valentine’s Day as Boston reached their sixth straight win and currently hold first place in the Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star Break. 

For Brooklyn, Bridges had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists. Off the bench, Watford led the team in scoring with 15 points. 

For the Celtics, White had 27 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Tatum also hit the 20-point mark with 20 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. Porzingis had 15 points and five rebounds, while  Sam Hauser had 14 points and five rebounds. Off the bench, Payton Pritchard led the team in scoring with 28 points as he went 6-9 from the 3-point line and grabbed four rebounds. 

What’s next for the Nets?

The Nets are currently in a rebuilding stage, which has brought out a team this season that is not playoff ready, but are not completely in the mud. However, the back-to-back losses to the Celtics show the grueling growing pains that the Nets have to go through for these next few years. Despite acquiring a new point guard in Dennis Schroder, he is not enough for the Nets to contend against the top teams in the East, let alone the number one team in the conference.

Bridges and Thomas bring out great performances on offense, but the Nets get killed on the defensive end. They are especially handicapped when their opponents have All-Star caliber players such as Tatum for the Celtics. The Nets would need to make trades for a Tatum level type of player or be able to score a high ranking prospect in their draft and develop an All-Star franchise player.