Brooklyn Nets (preseason) basketball is back, and there’s a win in the books.
With both Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert out of the game with ankle sprains, viewers were not able to see what the team fully has to offer. Still, the Nets were the dominant team throughout the game, even with the Knicks threatening in the fourth quarter.
One part of Brooklyn’s game that stood out especially was the team’s passing. With quick, sharp and active movement, Brooklyn kept pressure on the Knicks as it built a lead as large as 18 in the third quarter.
The team’s defense was also evident tonight, holding New York to 38.3 percent shooting.
The two biggest stories of the game are D’Angelo Russell’s play and the team’s three-point shooting.
First, Russell was ready to play tonight. He started the game alongside Jeremy Lin, faciliated offense and put up big numbers of his own (more on that below).
Lin, on the other hand, was not as impressive. He was able to distrubute well, but not finish at the rim when creating shots.
For the three-point shooting, it seemed as if the Nets almost could not miss. They finished the game 16-32 from three, and even though the Knicks cut into the lead in the fourth quarter, the offensive production from beyond the arc allowed Brooklyn to sneak by.
Heading into Thursday night’s game against the Miami Heat, it will be interesting to see if LeVert or Crabbe will be available to play. After a strong offensive showing and unselfish play, the Nets still need to work on a problem from last season: holding a lead through the second half of games.
D’Angelo Russell Point Guard
19 PTS, 7-14 FG, 2-4 3FG, 4 AST, 1 TO, 2 STL, 1 BLK
The opening game for Brooklyn’s offseason acquisition was an impressive one. Russell had a clear impact when he was on the court, and the team looked a little lost when he was off it.
As Lin did not have as strong of a performance, it will be interesting to see if Russell eventually emerges as Brooklyn’s leading point guard.
Joe Harris Shooting Guard
13 PTS, 4-7 3PT, 3 REB, 1 AST, 4 TOV
For a player that some think is fighting for a spot on the final roster, Harris showed his arsenal tonight. Harris was automatic from three, making four of seven shots.
For a player that wants to average a 40 percent clip from three this season, he’s on his way there. He just needs to watch out when it comes to turnovers.
Jarrett Allen Center
0 PTS, 0-2 FG, 5 REB, 1 BLK
In the rookie’s first game, Allen had moments where he showed his “wow” factor. A first impression of blocking Willy Hernangomez isn’t too bad.
Allen with an on-ball block on Willy Hernangomez. Is this love at first swat? https://t.co/NkclHiVaZ9
— The Brooklyn Game (@TheBKGame) October 4, 2017
Even though he did not score, Allen was active inside with his movement and presence. While he got his first highlight tonight, what he showed in his minutes should have Nets fans excited for his future.
Sean Kilpatrick Shooting Guard
15 PTS, 5-11 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-3 FTA, 4 REB, 1 TO, 1 BLK
While it wasn’t his best night, Kilpatrick scored the second most on the team, behind Russell, with 15 points. SK is still getting buckets, but there’s room for him to be more efficient.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Small Forward
13 PTS, 5-8 FG, 3-3 FTA, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 TO
An impact on offense and defense tonight, RHJ showed that he’s continued to improve his game. Once Crabbe is back, the duo can be an interesting 1-2 punch in the starting lineup.