Whoa, did the Brooklyn Nets look bad today. I was tempted to give them a D- because they are coming off a back-to-back, but the Nets completely shied away from what gives them success. They played sloppy basketball, played little to no defense and slowed the game down to a pace the Raptors are more comfortable playing at.
At least Brooklyn finally got to see a glimpse of their recent acquisitions Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas. On the second night of a back-to-back, DeMarre Carroll, Allen Crabbe and Jarrett Allen got some well-needed rest, and that led to some early minutes for the two new guys and Isaiah Whitehead.
Stauskas took his opportunity and ran with it. He scored 15 points in his first six minutes as a Brooklyn Net and showed that he can be a real spark plug to the second unit. His efforts were valiant, but Brooklyn just looked gassed.
The Nets looked like they had no interest at all on the defensive end. They gave up points and constantly found themselves in bad spots. Brooklyn has a huge talent gap with most teams in the league, and the only way the team can level itself against its competition is putting in twice the effort on a nightly basis. At a certain point, that catches up to the team.
The Nets got off to a slow start but found themselves still hanging around in the second quarter after Stauskas heated up. He hit four three-point shots and an and-one for good measure. That excitement was short-lived after the duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan started hitting their shots, and they didn’t look back after that.
The Nets would make one momentum shot to spark the team, and the Raptors would respond with two shots. It was just not the Nets’ night. It is going to happen, but do not roll over and take abuse from other teams. When a team starts doing that, that is when it loses its edge.
Isaiah Whitehead Point Guard
13 PTS, 5-10 FG, 2-3 3FG, 1-2 FT, 2 REB, 3 AST, 4 TOV, 2 STL, 33 MIN
One of the few positives was Isaiah Whitehead, who was trying his darnedest for a comeback attempt. He was aggressive all night, but the team never matched his energy. The G League has proven to be a great development tool for him this season, as he has started to be a stable contributor in the Nets’ rotation.
Timofey Mozgov Center
7 PTS, 2-5 FG, 0-0 3FG, 3-3 FT, 4 REB, 2 AST, 2 TOV, 1 BLK, 16 MIN
It is really hard to watch Timofey Mozgov play basketball. He looks like a completely different player from what we saw a few years ago when he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers. He struggles to catch the ball in traffic, and he cannot really finish in traffic, either. It is getting harder and harder to swallow that contract as the days pass.
Spencer Dinwiddie Point Guard
7 PTS, 3-9 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1-2 FT, 2 REB, 5 AST, 3 TOV, 22 MIN
Spencer Dinwiddie tried his best to set the tone for this game, but it just was not working. He is at his best when he creates off his teammates. That means they have to cut with him and drift into open areas in the three-point line, but they just were not there tonight. He looked lost in an offense he is usually comfortable with. That is just a testament to the low level of play Brooklyn came with.