Nets falter at finish line against 76ers, extend losing streak to four games

C

Final: 01/20/2020

L 111 – 117

The Nets went into Monday afternoon’s game against the 76ers on their heels, having lost three games in a row and 10 of their last 12. Conversely, the 76ers had emerged victorious in their past three outings, including one against Brooklyn.

This game started out differently, however. The Nets came out with a fire and fight that has been absent in their recent rough stretch. Having Joe Harris and his spacing back in the lineup never hurts, either.

Still, the Nets could not take care of the ball and dropped its fourth straight, despite opportunities that came about. 

With Kyrie Irving out of the lineup with hamstring tightness, the youth movement was out in full force for Brooklyn, led by Nicolas Claxton who posted a career-high 15 points. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Rodions Kurucs both also had decent minutes. The offense was rolling and the defense was slowing Philly down. The bench’s domination gave the Nets the lead, and the starters were doing just enough to hold onto it.

That was all well and good — until the fourth quarter. Like Rock Lee dropping his training weights, Philadelphia’s defense locked in and forced 10 turnovers. The Nets could not get an inch of space on offense, and they ran out of fuel and started to sputter. It was a repeat of what fans have endured the entire season.

Spencer Dinwiddie tried to keep hope alive with a few three-point heaves, but it was too little, too late. This game will go down as one of the many that slipped through the team’s fingers. It extends the current losing streak to four games with a matchup against the fearsome Los Angeles Lakers on national television looming.

Finding a scapegoat to blame for this recent stretch of play is nowhere near as important as finding a solution. With the season past halfway over, time is running out to turn things around. The clock is ticking.

Nicolas Claxton

A

The stats: 15 PTS, 6-8 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-3 FT, 4 REB, 2 AST, 0 TO, 17 MIN

Let’s say it louder for those in the back: NICOLAS CLAXTON DOESN’T BELONG IN THE G-LEAGUE!

Spencer Dinwiddie

C-

The stats: 22 PTS, 6-17 FG, 3-7 3PT, 7-9 FT, 5 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 5 TO, 35 MIN

Spencer Dinwiddie struggles to be the No. 1 option against contending teams.

Most players will struggle when they are the main threat that an opposing defense has to gameplan for. Nevertheless, the team is failing to win games. In the end, winning is what matters, and the Nets have been falling short in that area.

What Dinwiddie is offering is not quite enough at the moment.

Caris LeVert

D+

The stats: 16 PTS, 6-16 FG, 1-2 3PT, 3-4 FT, 6 REB, 6 AST, 2 TO, 29 MIN

While Caris LeVert is still adjusting following his return to the cour, he has not taken the leap most were expecting from him.

After starting his campaign last season playing like an All-Star, many were projecting an even stronger showing from LeVert playing alongside Kyrie Irving this year. Instead, he has not played well enough to earn his starting spot back from Dinwiddie and is averaging the lowest field goal and free throw percentages of his career.

His PER is 9.97, below the league-average 15. LeVert still has time to put it all together, he just has more work to do to get there. 

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