Brooklyn Nets

Nets make trades during a tough week of three straight losses

The Nets had a hard week of basketball, losing three straight games but broke their streak with a win over the San Antonio Spurs. Although it was only one game, the addition of Dennis Schroder has made a big impact on the floor for the Nets and looks to be a positive outlook as it inches closer to the All Star break. The Nets are now 21-31 and hold 11th place in the Eastern Conference. 

Nets get taken down by Golden State despite lackluster 3-point performance by the Warriors

Regardless of a rough game from 3-point range, the Golden State Warriors took down the Nets in a 109-98 loss. The Warriors relied on playing on the inside for the majority of the game as they shot 4-22 from the 3-point line. Those four 3-pointers coming from Steph Curry as the rest of the team could not make a single shot.

The Nets had a small lead going into the second half, but had trouble capitalizing on the horrible 3-point performance from the Warriors and only grabbed 38 rebounds for the night. The Nets could not get it going for the night on offense either, shooting 38% from the field and guys like Spencer Dinwiddie and Mikal Bridges had a rough shooting night. Jonathan Kuminga led the charge in the beginning of the second half, which set the tone for the rest of the game.

The lack of 3-point shot making did not stop the Warriors from gaining back and holding on to a lead, with many of their shots coming from the inside. Royce O’Neale helped cut the lead down to a four point deficit with three consecutive 3-pointers, but Curry and Kuminga kept the lead back up for the Warriors and led them to a win. 

For the Nets, Cam Thomas led with 18 points, five rebounds and two steals, while Nicolas Claxton had 15 points, five rebounds and seven blocks. Bridges had 13 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Cam Johnson had 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Off the bench, O’Neale had 15 points, while Dennis Smith Jr. had 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

For the Warriors, Curry led the way 29 points and five rebounds, while Kuminga had a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds, along with a pair of blocks. Brandin Podziemski also had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Off the bench, Gui Santos led with nine points. 

Kyrie Irving scores 38 in return to Brooklyn after 2023 trade

The Nets had no answers for the Dallas Mavericks, who gave them their second consecutive loss in a 119-107 defeat. Kyrie Irving was not given a tribute video in his return to Brooklyn unlike his former co-star Kevin Durant, but showed photos of him, Seth Curry and Markieff Morris as a tribute to the three former Nets players instead. Irving was met with boos as soon as the first whistle blew, but gave a show to the audience.

His acrobatic performance from the inside, weaving and cutting his way through the defense with his layups for 38 points. Luka Doncic also had a great shooting night, who scored 35 points for the Mavericks. Ben Simmons returned for the night after missing the game against the Warriors and had reasonable numbers on the box score, but could not help the Nets take a win.

The Nets were down by only four points to close the first quarter, but Irving opened the second quarter by making his first four shots, two of which came from the 3-point line. The Mavericks extended their lead further as they were able to get shots from the inside and outside the arc.

The Mavericks opened the second half and continued their offensive dominance by scoring five points within the first 45 seconds of the third quarter to lead 70-47. The Nets crawled their way back to a six-point deficit after a made “and-one” free throw by Bridges in the closing minutes. However, Irving hit two straight 3-pointers to put the lead back to double digits and the Mavericks did not look back to grab the win. 

For the Nets, Bridges led the way with 28 points and two steals, while Cam Thomas had  a near triple-double with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Off the bench, O’Neale had 18 points and six rebounds, while Jalen Wilson had 10 points and four rebounds. 

For the Mavericks, Irving had 36 points and shot 6-10 from the three-point line, while also dishing out five assists. Doncic nearly had a triple-double with 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, while Josh Green had 12 points. Off the bench, Tim Hardaway Jr had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Cavaliers defeat Nets who were without key players 

The Cleveland Cavaliers had a great shooting night for themselves in a 118-95 win over the Nets. After a heated exchange between Simmons and Jarrett Allen where both players received a technical foul, the Cavaliers proceeded to create an unwinnable game for the Nets. The Cavaliers created a 21-0 scoring run, preventing any sort of comeback from the Nets as they could not find any answers against the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers shot 53% for the night, where Donavan Mitchell had 27 points for the night. The Nets were without a few key players as they traded away Dinwiddie and O’Neale. Dinwiddie was traded to the Toronto Raptors for Dennis Schroder and Thaddeus Young. O’Neale was traded to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team trade, which gave the Nets Kenta Bates-Diop and Jordan Goodwin. While Toronto was the initial destination for Dinwiddie, he was waived but picked up by the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

For the Nets, Bridges had 26 points and five assists, while Thomas had 17 points and four rebounds. Off the bench, Trendon Watford had 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks. 

For the Cavaliers, Mitchell filled up the stat sheet with 27 points, five rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Evan Mobley had a double-double 14 points and 12 rebounds, along with two blocks. Allen had a similar stat line as he finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, with a pair of blocks, while Darius Garland had 14 points and seven assists. Off the bench, Georges Niang had 13 points. 

Dennis Schroder makes a big impact in win over Spurs

The Nets took a big win on Saturday over the San Antonio Spurs in a 123-103 win. It was Dennis Schroder’s first game as a Net after being acquired in a recent trade that had them trade away Dinwiddie. Schroder’s impact on the floor was immediate with a great performance that helped towards the win.

Schroder recorded 12 assists off the bench and scored 15 points as well. Schroder won over the fans with both his performance and his actions after not getting a foul after getting hit by Victor Wembanyama. Schroder fouled Wembanyama on the next play to further express his frustrations, which expressed his passion to win the game.

The Nets had a dominant first half, controlling the game throughout the first half and allowing only 18 points in the second quarter. While the Spurs were able to slowly chip their deficit down, the Nets were able to create a 10-2 scoring run of their own to take back the game. 

For the Nets, Thomas had 25 points, four assists and two steals, while Claxton had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, along with two blocks. Bridges had 14 points and six rebounds, while Simmons had 13 points, five assists and two blocks. Off the bench, Schroder had a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists, while Smith Jr had 14 points and six assists. 

For the Spurs, Wembanyama had 21 points and four rebounds. Devin Vassell filled up the box score with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Off the bench, Keon Johnson had 19 points and four rebounds. 

What’s next for the Nets?

This week exposed the Nets’ lack of an offensive superstar again with these three (four) straight losses. Outside of Bridges, who can score over 20+ points a game, the Nets don’t have another offensive threat. Thomas can have a great offensive performance from time-to-time, but he doesn’t score over 20 points on a daily basis which is what the Nets need. The recent trades can help beef up the Nets roster, especially with the trade for Schroder that gave away Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie had become a recent offensive liability recently, who has been shooting 32% with a true shooting percentage of .530. Schroder has shot 35% from three and a .559 true shooting percentage. Schroder has been very impactful for the Nets after only a single game, recording a double-double with 12 assists.

This led to a much needed blowout win for the Nets who have been on a three-game losing streak. A guy like Schroder who can space out the floor and create opportunities for the Nets to score leads to higher chances to win games. The hope for the Nets is to be able to play well on a consistent basis and take every opportunity they can to take over games and win.

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