Nets look to limp into All-Star Break with some remaining dignity

Antetokounmpo, Maker
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Time: 7:30 PM EST
Location: Barclays Center
Watch: YES Network, Fox Sports Go
Listen: WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM

As the All-Star Break looms, the Brooklyn Nets will look to snap their 13-game losing streak against the hot-and-cold Milwaukee Bucks, who currently sit at 24-30, just outside of the playoffs. Still searching for their first home win since December 26th, the Nets will host former head coach and team icon Jason Kidd and hope to finally — oh, please, dammit — reach double-digit wins before a week off.

Losing has, unfortunately, become the status quo for the 9-win Nets as their 112-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday felt all too familiar. Once again the Nets struggled on defense, allowing over 100 points for the 51st time this season! In other words, but equally as discouraging, that means the Nets have held opponents to under 100 points just four times — hoisting a 2-2 record, ugh, as well. Point guard struggles once again plagued the Nets as Mike Conley scored 32 points shooting 10-16 from the field and dishing out 6 assists along the way. But hey Jeremy Lin returns after the Allstar break, that’s something right?

But, hey, Jeremy Lin returns after the All-Star Break, that’s something right?

Last time Nets faced the Bucks, it was back in early December as the two teams matched up for a home-and-away. The Bucks won both games by a combined 28 points, but a closer Halloween showdown (ah, when the optimism was so high!) saw the Nets lose on a John Henson buzzer-beating tip-in. The Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has dominated on both ends of the floor in this season’s series against the Nets, causing issues for both bigs and guards in the lane, all while possessing the ability to start a one-man fast break. Bojan Bogdonavic a possible trade candidate averaged about 14points in the

Bojan Bogdonavic, a possible trade candidate, averaged about 14 points in the two-game back-to-back, scoring 23 in a 9-point loss in which Brook Lopez sat. The Bucks, however, took a huge blow last week as Jabari Parker, who was in the midst of a breakout season, suffered a left ACL injury and prematurely ending his season.

The Nets, who could look entirely different by the next time they play the Denver Nuggets on the 24th, will have one final shot to head into the break with a little bit of dignity. With Lin and a double-double win team headed into March, anything can happen — well, outside of making of the playoffs, anyways.

Three Things to Watch For in Nets-Bucks:

1. Inspired Basketball

Despite their record and clear lack of NBA talent, head coach Kenny Atkinson has managed to get his team to play hard on every single night. They’re winless in February, of course, but at least this month, the Nets have kept things moderately close, losing each game by less than 10 points. Silver linings right?

Can they finally enact a bit of revenge against the Bucks?

2. Spencer Dinwiddie

Perhaps annoyed or motivated by the recent Yogi Ferrell performances (we don’t want to talk about it, stop asking!), Dinwiddie had his best game as a member of the Nets on Monday leading the team with 17 points on 7-18 shooting. Once Lin returns, it’s still likely Spencer will come off the bench ahead of Isaiah Whitehead.

3. RHJ at power forward

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has been a bright spot for this struggling team all of a sudden, even with his earlier sophomore slump. Now playing at power forward, Hollis-Jefferson has found his fit in coach Atkinson’s offense as he’s able to attack the lanes on slower bigs and physically drag himself to the free throw line.

Hey, if the jumper is still broken, this is the next best thing for the lengthy forward.