Coming off of a thrilling 75-72 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, the Brooklyn Nets were looking to continue their winning streak, in turn becoming a force in the Las Vegas Summer League circuit. While this is only Summer League, let’s enjoy this masterful play as Nets Nation has not enjoyed their club being at .500 in nearly a year.
The Nets were able to remain competitive with the Bucks’ three-point heavy attack throughout the first portion of the opening quarter. The low point of the first was no doubt, Prince Ibeh air balling two free throws (which garnered some giggles from the Bucks’ bench.) Brooklyn struggled from the line greatly, leading to a four point deficit at the end of the first. The Nets shot an appalling, 1-6 from the line in the first 10 minutes of play.
The players on the Summer League roster who are all but guaranteed rotation minutes for next year led a small comeback to begin the second quarter. Caris LeVert scored and facilitated some easy buckets against his former college teammate, DJ Wilson. A couple of other 2016-2017 Nets alumni contributed to a competitive finish to the first half.
Throughout most of the third quarter, the Nets were able to keep Milwaukee’s lead within one possession. Brooklyn was never quite able to build solid in the third, with their sub 50% mark from the line always looming as a telling stat. Brooklyn nailed three consecutive three-pointers to close the third quarter, therefore keeping the contest close heading into the final quarter.
As the fourth quarter droned on, the Nets found themselves in another tight contest. Milwaukee went on an 8-0 run (which in this game, turned out to be the difference maker) to build their most solid lead of the evening. But, “The Cyclone” was in full force during this one. Whitehead kept Brooklyn alive yet struggled to defend the red hot, Rashad Vaughn. Ultimately, the Nets were not able to mount a comeback, now falling to 1-1 in Summer League play.
Milton Doyle: A
13 PTS, 4-6 FG, 3-3 3PT, 4 REB, 1 AST
Doyle scored seven points in his first seven points of play, proving to be a reliable sixth man. He nailed two more threes in the third quarter while shooting a whopping, 80% from the field overall. The Nets could’ve used him in crunch-time as the starters cooled down from behind the arc.
Nathan Boothe: C
2 PTS, 1-5 FG, 0-0 3PT, 2 REB, 1 AST
After bursting onto the scene against Atlanta, Boothe had an off game matching up against the Bucks’ potent defense. He was out-shined in this one by other reserves such as Doyle and Archie Goodwin.
Prince Ibeh: D
3 PTS, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5 REB, 0 AST
Ibeh was hacked nearly every time he caught the ball 10 feet or closer to the hoop. His only redeeming qualities this evening were a few smart plays at the rim defensively.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: B
8 PTS, 2-9 FG, 0-2 3PT, 12 REB, 1 AST
Used his 7-2 wingspan to crash the boards and reaffirm that he can be a legitimate four. Shot an overall low percentage from the field, but was clearly the Nets’ most frisky force in the paint in this one.
Caris LeVert: A-
18 PTS, 9-18 FG, 0-7 3PT, 7 REB, 3 AST
Nets Nation should hope LeVert doesn’t embody the term “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” as he has demonstrated a more polished jump shot this July. Only negative was defensively he could’ve done more to help slow down the “Rashad Vaughn show.”