Nets never quit in loss to Miami Heat as streak hits 11 games: 3 Takeaways

Nets Miami Heat
Bam Adebayo dribbles the ball away from Brooklyn Nets forward James Johnson during the second half at FTX Arena.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets dropped their 11th straight game with a 115-111 loss in Miami against the Heat. The Nets never quit despite trailing by as many as 21 in the 3rd quarter and gave themselves a chance down the stretch, but they’re ultimately now the first team in NBA history to be 10 games over .500 and lose 11 games in a row.

The Nets found themselves incredibly shorthanded once again, being without Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joe Harris, Nic Claxton, and newcomers Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and SCameth Curry.

Despite being with the Nets in Miami, Drummond and Curry could not play because James Harden did not have his physical in time for the trade to be official and the newcomers to able to play for their new team.

Harden didn’t complete and pass his physical until 8:26 p.m. on Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

As for the game, the Nets dug themselves a huge hole in the third quarter before rallying and coming back in the fourth. Irving had a herculean effort in the game’s final quarter, scoring 18 straight points, but the Nets weren’t able to get a shot off down two with 13.8 seconds left. Nash said it was a set play to get Kyrie the ball, but Cam Thomas turned the ball over trying to pass it to him.

Nash called it an outstanding performance and said he was upset for the guys who fought their tails off and didn’t get many calls.

In addition to Irving, the rookies showed up. Cam Thomas once again impressed scoring 22 points in 32 minutes, while Kessler Edwards added 13 points and Day’Ron Sharpe had a double-double (10 points and 12 rebounds).

“This one hurt,” Sharpe said. “We thought this was going to be the one.”

The Nets need Kyrie Irving full time

There is no secret about it that Irving is one of the best players in the NBA and the Nets desperately need him to be available full time. He was amazing in the fourth quarter against Miami, scoring 20 of his 29 points in the final period. Irving did go 21 game minutes without scoring a point before he took the game over.

“Kyrie was incredible in the fourth quarter. He saw the ball go through the hoop and got into a roll. I was proud of Kai for staying through it,” Nash said.

Brooklyn’s front office has remained positive that Irving will eventually be able to play games at home.

“Kyrie Irving is frustrated with the fact that he is not able to be out there,” general manager Sean Marks said over the weekend. “We remain optimistic with the changing world around us, but the city vaccine mandate is above my paygrade.”

The next time Irving is eligible to play is two weeks from now, on Feb. 26 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Nash said the team is adapting fine to Irving being in and out of the lineup, but called it “not a normal thing.”

The Nets could have used Drummond/Curry

Drummond and Curry were unable to participate in tonight’s game, despite being on the bench, because the trade was not made official. James Harden did not get to Philadelphia in time to take his physical until late on Saturday and the deal was made official 17 minutes after the Nets and Heat tipped off.

The Nets were outrebounded 52-41 and gave up 52 points in the paint and obviously, Drummond would have helped with this situation and limited second-chance points. Miami got a three-in clutch time by Duncan Robinson off an offensive rebound. In addition to this, the Nets only shot 12-40 from three and Seth Curry is one of the best shooters in the NBA.

Now that the trade was made official  Curry and Drummond should make their Nets’ debut on Monday at home against the Kings.

The Nets can not afford any more injuries

Already being without Durant, Harris, Simmons, Aldridge, and Claxton, the Nets can not afford to have any more players to go out. Irving took a scary spill in the first quarter and he got up favoring his hip. He Did go to the bench and ultimately the locker room before returning to the court.

Later in the game, Cam Thomas was seen favoring his left hand, but he stayed in the game and hit a clutch shot in the fourth quarter.

Finally, James Johnson left the game and did not return with a right knee sprain.