The Brooklyn Nets went out West and swept a five-game road trip, winning each game in a different play style.
Each win was a different play style that showed how dominant this team could be down the road as the team only looks to get better with time.
2/13 // Nets Play the Perfect Game Against the Golden State Warriors
The game against the Warriors is the most ideal and probably the best way to victory for this Nets team. The Nets scored 37 points in the first quarter and pretty much never took the foot off the gas, ending the third quarter with 108 points. The Nets have such a great offense, and they want to get the jump on you early and either blow you out by the fourth quarter or turn the game into a shootout because they can outshoot anyone. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden all played their role to perfection. Harden created a dished up 16 assists, Irving slashed and got to the basket scoring a team-high of 23 points on 58% from the field, and Durant actually had a bad night, only scoring 20 points off of 42% from the field, but Durant just came off the COVID list.
On top of that, the other Nets helped out as Joe Harris scored 15 points, shooting 50% from three-point land, Bruce Brown scored 18 along with the second-most rebounds at 7, and Jeff Green put up another 14 points off the bench. The defense played solid, allowing 117 points, but 37 of those points came in the fourth quarter when the game was over.
The Nets played a fantastic all-around game that led to a win, and this might be how the team plays at its best. The Nets featured the three-headed monster of attack, along with role players who can make open shots. The team played solid defense, which all they need to do because of how many points they can score. Everyone knew their role and played it perfectly. This Nets team is for sure can win an NBA title.
2/15 // Nets Offense Can Also Be the Team’s Best Defense, as Shown Against the Sacramento Kings
Now the Kings game is very similar to the Warriors game, in the sense that the Nets started hot and stayed hot, but this time the Kings started hot as well. In just the first quarter, the Nets put up 36, and the Kings put up 37. This game turned more into the shootouts the Nets have been in earlier in the season, but the Kings could not keep up, and going into the fourth quarter, the Nets were up 19. Irving, this game, put up an offensive masterpiece as he put up 40 points shooting 82% from three, making 9 three-pointers.
Harden continued as the driving hand behind the offense with 14 assists and added 29 points to make up the lost points with Durant sitting. The rest of the Nets also did their part, with five other Nets scoring 10 or more points. The defense was not as good as the game against the Warriors allowing 125 points, but again, 37 of those points came in the fourth quarter with the game already over.
The Nets continue to show that their offense is the best in the league and might be one of the best in NBA history, and can end games before the start of the fourth quarter by just drowning opposing teams in the offense, even with Durant sidelined.
2/16 // Nets Show They Can Never Be Counted Out in a Game, Scoring 12 Straight Points to Close Out a Comeback Victory Against the Phoenix Suns
This game had one lead change in the entirety of the game, and the Nets led for only 31 seconds, and that lead change came late in the fourth quarter at the end of a 12-0 run by the Nets that sealed the game as the Nets won 128-124. This game showed the Nets’ heart as Irving and Durant were sidled with injures, and Harden took over. Harden scored 38 points on 22 shots, shooting 64% from the field, five threes, and 11 assists. In just the fourth quarter, Harden only played five minutes but had 9 points and 3 assists. Harden had help from Tyler Johnson, getting his first start of the season, with 17 points, Harris adding 22, and Green with another 18.
This game showed that when the Nets don’t start well as they did against the Warriors and Kings, they are never out of the game. The Nets scored 74 points to the Suns 49 points after half-time. Head Coach Steve Nash made the necessary halftime adjustments to get the win, and this is a great sign to see in a rookie coach who will need to make similar adjustments in the playoffs.
The Suns are also no slouch of a team coming into this game with a 17-9 record, and it is good to see the Nets come back against a team around the same level as them.
2/18 // Nets Beat up on an Already Beat-up Los Angeles Lakers Team With Excellent Team Defense and Role Players
The Nets and Lakers might meet in the NBA Finals, but this specific game doesn’t mean anything with that. First off, Durant did not play in this game, and the Lakers were without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder, who are both crucial to the Lakers team. So, this game wasn’t an accurate Finals preview, and if these teams were to play in the Finals, you would not be able to use this game as a projection of what might happen. However, this game was interesting for other reasons, more importantly, the Nets defense and how role players stepped up. Harden had a solid game scoring 23 points and added 11 assists, but Irving had a subpar game, only scoring 16 points and going 0 for 5 from three.
The people players that stood out were the role players as Harris had 21 points, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot added 15, and Landry Shamet had another 10. Even more suspiring is how the Nets team defense played, combining for a 106.5 defensive rating, and with the only player over 15 minutes having over a 110 defensive rating was Landry Shamet. Even though the score finished 109-98, holding a team for less than 100 points for just the sixth time this season, the game was over midway through the fourth quarter with both teams emptying their bench.
The Nets defense was a surprise and did not allow the Lakers to score more than 30 points in any quarter. On the other hand, the Lakers’ offense wasn’t good either, and that helped out the Nets, and LeBron James also had 32 points shooting 60% from the field. This game is interesting because of the role players coming into their own and the defense playing better, but it doesn’t mean anything as a Finals predictor.
2/21 // Nets Beat the Los Angeles Clippers in an Actual NBA Finals Matchup, as the Stars in Both Teams Shined
Unlike the game against the Lakers, the Clippers stars were healthy, and Paul George and Kawhi Leonard put on a show combining for 63 of the 108 points from the Clippers. Harden and Irving combined for 65 of the Nets 112 total points, Harden putting up a game-high of 37 points. The Nets seemed to treat this game as a playoff game, playing six players over 30 minutes, Irving, Harden, Harris, Green, Brown, and DeAndre Jordan. In the fourth quarter, only playing six guys all game caught up to them, as the Nets seemed to take the foot off the gas.
The Nets were up 10 at the start of the final quarter and let the Clippers creep back into the game. If it wasn’t for an offensive foul called on Leonard and George randomly being sat in the closing minute, the Nets could have lost this game.
This game was interesting as it seemed the long road stretch had finally caught up to the Nets, and only a six-man rotation didn’t help, as the fourth quarter got dicey. The Nets showed the ability to compete with the top-tier teams, which they didn’t need to prove already have beaten most of the teams over .500, but also showed they could close out games when they have let up a big lead.
Each victory highlights a different play style and level that the Nets can reach. When the playoffs start, it is nice to know that the team can play and adapt to the other team’s style or take over the game at any moment.
The Nets will be hard to beat in a seven-game series, which means the chances of a parade in Brooklyn keep getting higher as time goes along.
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