So many stats could tell the story of this past week’s glory –but there’s really one that’s all-encompassing:
The Brooklyn Nets are undefeated since Stock Watch made its debut last week.
It makes sense — nobody wants to be on the stock down list, and chances are high that this column that’s only been alive for one week was used as peak bulletin-board material for a resurgent Brooklyn squad.
Maybe that’s not the reason the Nets played incredibly this week. But either way, it was a joy to see Brooklyn have such a great week.
Let’s catch you up on the last week of Nets basketball.
Last Week’s Scores:
12/12: Nets 127, 76ers 124
12/14: Nets 125, Wizards 118
12/16: Nets 144, Hawks 127
1. Spencer Dinwiddie — (Last Week: #2)
He was on this list last week. Since then, the man got paid. On Dec. 13, Dinwiddie agreed to a three-year extension worth $34 million, a deal that comes with a player option coming on that final year.
Dinwiddie’s become a fan favorite behind his fantastic play, effort, and underdog story of battling through injuries and G-League moments to get to where he is. He got rewarded in a major way by signing this extension. Statistical performances beside, everybody in Brooklyn is beyond thrilled for Dinwiddie — and yet, his numbers are just the cherry on top.
The night before the extension, Dinwiddie dropped 39 points on the 76ers in one of Brooklyn’s most impressive wins of the season. In the game after, he had 27 points, so I don’t think there’s any worry that he’ll be slowing down now that he got his extension.
2. Rodions Kurucs — (Last Week: N/A)
Kurucs made his first two surprise career starts this week and played well throughout them. He averaged 13 points per game, scoring in double figures in all three of the games. How did general manager Sean Marks pluck him out of the second round again?
An early-season injury kept Kurucs out of the rotation, but the promising second-round pick is back and proving his worth. At 6-foot-9, 210-pounds, Kurucs has the size and length to play multiple positions. He can stretch the floor — in a limited sample size this week, he shot 42 percent from deep — and he’s got a herky-jerky driving game that allows him to find holes in the defense and finish through contact.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 15, 2018
Kurucs is still very raw, but he has the makings of a fantastic do-it-all type role player for the Nets.
3. Ed Davis — (Last Week: N/A)
Ed Davis’ diet consists strictly of boards. In just 24.6 minutes per game over the last week for the Nets, the eighth-year forward averaged 9 boards, including 3.3 rebounds on the offensive glass.
Davis has his limitations — he’s not a rim protector as a center, and he’s not a great free-throw shooter, causing teams to foul him when he’s close to the basket.
But Brooklyn arguably hasn’t had somebody this active on the boards since Reggie Evans was in town. And Davis has flashed a soft touch and an ability to work well with D’Angelo Russell of pick-and-rolls, providing the Nets with some key big-man minutes off the bench.
1. Jarrett Allen — (Last Week: N/A)
We’re splitting hairs here since, if you hadn’t heard earlier, the Nets had a great week. But the Nets’ second-year center took a few steps back if you look very closely.
Mainly, Allen just simply didn’t play much, as he averaged just 19.7 minutes per game during the run. Part of that was game flow, but it still more had to do with the fact that the Nets needed some more rebounding — thus leading to the aforementioned Davis seeing an increase of minutes.
What’s more concerning is that in the games against Philadelphia and Atlanta, Allen racked up 3 and 4 fouls, respectively, in less than 17 minutes. And on the week, Allen picked up just 4.7 rebounds per game.
Improvement will come and this is likely just a blip on the radar for Allen. Still, when the rest of the team soared to new heights, Allen leveled off.
2. Defense — (Last Week: N/A)
The Nets are on a five-game winning streak — we cannot take that away from them. Also, over this past week, the Nets have allowed 123 points per game.
That’s not a sustainable formula. The defense has been an issue for Brooklyn all year as their 111.8 points allowed per game ranks 23rd-worst. Even worse, opponents are shooting 47 percent from the field, the ninth-highest mark in the entire league.
And even during the Nets’ resurgence, the numbers aren’t getting better. For as much praise as Brooklyn has deservedly received for individual player development, it’s important that this young Nets crew learns how to compete defensively, too.
This Week’s Games:
12/18 vs Los Angeles Lakers
12/19 @ Chicago
12/21 vs Indiana
12/23 vs. Phoenix