Nets crash hard during last stop on mega road trip


Final: 03/28/2019

L 110 123

Tonight the Brooklyn Nets’ truly terrible road trip finally ended with a scrappy contest against the Philadelphia 76ers. With ample trash talk, four technical fouls, and strong downhill play, this game had a lot to offer.

The game started badly and only got worse. The Nets were down double digits by the second quarter, mostly due to being outscored 38-23 in the first. Boban Marjanovic even hit the second three of his career while Brooklyn looked pathetic on both sides of the ball. In other news, Jarrett Allen got played off the court by Joel Embiid.

Then Kenny Atkinson made his best lineup adjustment in a long time — well, at least since that Sacramento game — by sending in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to replace Allen. While standing quite a few inches shorter, Hollis-Jefferson is much faster and stronger than Allen, able to go to work against the slower Marjanovic to jumpstart the lifeless Nets. He also wasn’t afraid to talk smack to Embiid, provoking him into earning an early technical foul.

A snoozefest blowout quickly became competitive and it wouldn’t let up for the rest of the night.

Brooklyn continued to lag behind the 76ers, but they never let the lead get as large as it did earlier in the game. Every time the Philadelphia crowd started to relax, the Nets would go on another run and put the pressure back on. Great drives from Spencer Dinwiddie and Hollis-Jefferson created opportunities that players like Joe Harris were able to capitalize on.

All of this work was still not enough, however, in part thanks to the team’s continued inability to hit their free throws at a proficient rate. Tonight they hit 19 of their 29 shots, good for only 65.5 percent. Their threes also were not falling at their usual rate, making just 34.4 percent of them. For the Nets, it’s pretty hard to win basketball games when your opponent shoots 14 percent better from behind the arc — that’s the entire recap right there.

In conclusion, the Nets went 2-5 on this seventeen-day long road trip. It is not ideal, obviously, but it could have been worse. It could always be worse.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson


The stats: 19 PTS, 7-14 FG, 10 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO

Welcome back Rondae, you were greatly missed!

This game was a perfect example of why Hollis-Jefferson should still have a place in the rotation going forward. While Allen often struggles against larger and stronger centers, going small with Hollis-Jefferson gives the Nets a whole new dynamic. His unique combination of strength and speed present a tough challenge even for skilled big men. The team will need more of this down the stretch if they want to compete for a playoff spot.

Joe Harris


The stats: 22 PTS, 8-12 FG, 4-6 3PT, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 0 TO

Joey Buckets appears to be recovering from his three-point competition hangover.

While it wasn’t enough to push the team over the top tonight, it is still absolutely crucial if they want to compete if they make it into the playoffs. Having zero turnovers is also appreciated as Harris has a tendency to be a little loose with his ball control, especially when driving. 

Caris LeVert


The stats: 18 PTS, 6-14 FG, 2-4 3PT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO

ALERT: Caris LeVert has been spotted in Philadelphia after a prolonged absence!

LeVert has struggled since he returned from injury and many fans were starting to become worried. Tonight, he assuaged some of those fears. LeVert found his shooting stroke and slotted back into the offense. While it may not be consistent just yet, just knowing that he can still reach this level is encouraging.

Caris LeVert at 100 percent is the last thing a top seed would want to see in the first round.

D'Angelo Russell


The stats: 13 PTS, 6-19 FG, 1-5 3PT, 4 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 7 TO

D’Angelo Russell has not been playing like an All-Star.

These are the three signs of D’Lo having a pop-off game: He is taking the high percentage and efficient shots, making the safe and smart passes, while playing engaged defense. All three have been missing from his game as of late. Of course, the Nets’ All-Star is very capable of all three and, when he incorporates them, the Brooklyn Nets can go toe-to-toe with any foe in the league.

Until then, though, they will continue to slide.