If you turned your TV off at halftime, we do not blame you.
But if you stayed for the second half, you were not disappointed — at least until the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter. So Nets fans got about 18 minutes of enjoyable basketball, which is on par for what games have come to recently.
With Monday’s loss to the Orlando Magic, the Nets dropped their sixth game in a row. Entering the matchup, the Nets were one game up on the Magic. After the defeat, Orlando now owns a tie-breaker for seventh place in the East. The Nets sit three games back of .500 (16-19).
To sum up what was an abysmal first half of basketball, the Nets shot 14-47 (29.8 percent) from the field. Brooklyn missed 19(!) three pointers, a stat line so horrid that it usually results in an insurmountable halftime deficit. But somehow, the Nets trailed the Magic by only 13 points at the half. The Nets ranked 28th in offensive efficiency in December, and suffice it to say, the offense has not seen much improvement.
The first 18 minutes of the second half were dominated by Brooklyn — particularly by the bench. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Wilson Chandler and Dzanan Musa stepped up for the Nets. They ignited a dormant offense, giving life to a lifeless team. But, almost as soon as Nets fans rejoiced — after taking the lead — there was another fourth-quarter collapse.
The starters took the court, and just like that, it was over. The offense was nowhere to be found, with Brooklyn going 0-12 from the field over a five-minute period. On the other end, Markelle Fultz torched the defense, scoring a career-high 25 points. On the night, the Nets shot 33.3 percent from the field. Brooklyn attempted a whopping 47(!) three pointers, making only ten.
Things are bound to turn around for Brooklyn, right? Well, Nets fans sure hope so, but they need reasons to believe.
The Nets missed Caris LeVert, as he had a rest day after his return to the court Saturday from thumb surgery. After scoring 13 points (5-7 FG) in 15 minutes, the Nets decided to practice care in LeVert’s comeback. Going forward, though, the Nets can benefit from his consistent presence.
Next, the Nets will play host to the Thunder on Tuesday night. It is likely that LeVert will suit up for his second game since returning from injury.
The stats: 16 PTS, 6-19 FG, 2-10 3PT, 2-4 FT, 5 REB, 3 AST, 1 TO, 28 MIN
Following Kyrie Irving’s injury, Spencer Dinwiddie has done his part to keep the Nets alive. However, he can not will this team to wins alone.
Opposing teams have been game-planning against Dinwiddie, forcing Brooklyn to rely on other scoring options, yet those options are mostly injured.
Dinwiddie missed a lot of shots against Orlando, but like the last few games, he received next to no support elsewhere on offense.
The stats: 16 PTS, 6-11 FG, 3-7 3PT, 1-1 FT, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 31 MIN
Joe Harris is a role player — and a very good one. He is not a star, and he will never be the second-best player on the floor for a winning NBA team. Therefore, Nets fans must temper their expectations for the sharpshooter.
On Monday, Harris was just that — a role player. He made open shots, got to the rim and even filled up the box score on defense. Harris did all that is ever asked of him, and no Nets fan can be upset with that.
The stats: 6 PTS, 2-11 FG, 2-9 3PT, 8 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 28 MIN
Taurean Prince is amid a heck of a cold shooting streak, and it is severely hurting Brooklyn’s offensive output.
Prince, once again, could not do much on offense. It is difficult to watch him struggle to make open looks.
But, who knows, maybe he finds his stroke against the Thunder on Tuesday.
The stats: 9 PTS, 2-13 FG, 1-8 3PT, 4-5 FT, 2 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, 29 MIN
When Garrett Temple plays well, the Nets usually win. It is that simple.
He is the definition of a “glue guy.”
On Monday, Temple was not a “glue guy.” When Temple misses seven threes, the Nets will lose. This is not the same player who helped lead Brooklyn to success following Irving and LeVert going down. Whatever it is, Nets fans can only hope Temple figures it out on offense.