How do you account for this past week? It was a perfect 3-0 week. But just saying that wouldn’t even account for the kind of wins that Brooklyn accumulated.
There was a thrashing of the Boston Celtics. There was the crazy, improbable, what-just-happened comeback at Houston. And then a last-minute win on the road in Orlando, in what could have easily been a trap game. All in all, it was a perfect week with some nearly perfect performances.
Let’s get to the recap.
Last week’s scores:
1/14: Nets 109, Celtics 102
1/16: Nets 145, Rockets 142
1/18: Nets 117, Orlando 115
1. Spencer Dinwiddie
There’s a lot that could be written about Dinwiddie — buy I’m not sure if anything does more justice than this.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 17, 2019
Over the last 20 seasons, The Rockets hadn’t lost — or, in other words, were 682-0 — when leading by six or more in the last 30 seconds of a game. But Dinwiddie caught fire in one of the most incredible ways to force overtime.
On the week, he averaged 20.3 points and 5 assists but his Houston performance is what stood out. And it’ll have its place in Nets’ lore, too.
2. D’Angelo Russell
New year, new Russell. D’Angelo has taken a noticeable step forward since the turn of the New Year and this week was no different. He put up 28 points and 7 assists on 53 percent overall and from three-point range.
He’s also shown supreme confidence in the clutch and hit the game-winner against Orlando. It’s also so sweet when he uses that classic ice-in-my-veins celebration that he first broke out as a member of the Lakers … when he hit the game-winner against the Nets.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 19, 2019
And maybe, even more importantly, is how happy Russell was for Dinwiddie against the Rockets. Russell was struggling defensively in that game and got pulled by Kenny Atkinson. Throughout the fourth quarter and overtime, Russell could consistently be seen jumping and celebrating on the sideline.
The star player on a team easily could have pouted about not being out there — but It spoke volumes that Russell didn’t.
The love this team has for one another is really special 🖤 https://t.co/aoyx0Q1EEH
— sarah kustok (@sarahkustok) January 17, 2019
3. Jarrett Allen
Allen had his first ever 20-20 game against the Rockets, and also came up with another block on a superstar, this time rejecting James Harden at the rim.
Additionally, Allen has shown more aggression in the paint. He averaged 14 points this week and had one more free-throw attempt this week than he normally averages.
To be clear, there are still areas Allen needs to improve in. For example, he’s 18th in rebound chances but just 48th in rebound percentage. He didn’t grab a rebound on a missed free throw toward the end of regulation in the Rockets game, which allowed James Harden to grab it, eventually get back to the line, and open up a three-point lead.
Still, it was a good step forward for Allen this week.
1. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Another return from injury and another slow start for RHJ. It’s been a lost year so far for the fourth-year forward. All his numbers are down, and perhaps, most concerningly, is the 40 percent field goal percentage.
He’s also just looked very timid and unsure at times this season. It could be that he hasn’t really had time to get comfortable this season. Either way, his role as part of this Nets core becomes increasingly blurrier.
This week’s games:
1/21 vs. Sacramento Kings
1/23 vs. Orlando Magic
1/25 vs. New York Knicks
Not much on the Stock Down front this week. As always, let me know on Twitter what I got right. Enjoy the holiday and let’s see if the Nets can keep that hot streak going with three very winnable games on the horizon!