Nets snap losing streak in overtime victory against Pistons


Final: 01/25/2020

W 121 111

The Brooklyn Nets traveled to face the Detroit Pistons in the motor city Saturday night. Brooklyn managed to end their five-game losing streak by scraping past injury-riddled Detroit in overtime, 121-111.

It was not pretty or clean, but a win is a win.

To start, there was a notable roster shakeup for this game. Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench for the first time since early November, and Garrett Temple took over his starting duties. The choice of not adding Caris LeVert to the opening lineup caused some to scratch their heads.

Both Temple and Dinwiddie struggled to make their presence felt in this game. Luckily for them, Kyrie Irving put on a show. He dominated every aspect of the offense, and while some criticize his “hero ball,” it is hard to complain about when it works.

While watching Irving dominate a game is always a treat, it is nothing but a bandaid. There are bigger issues plaguing this team that have not yet been resolved, as nearly every player on the roster is shooting worse from beyond-the-arc this season compared to last year. It is unclear how the addition of Kevin Durant will impact the cohesion and playstyle of the squad, but there have already rumblings from Irving about the additional help that will be needed. 

As Kenny Atkinson mentioned after Brooklyn’s loss to the Lakers on Thursday, the Nets are not an elite team.

The Nets found themselves in a double-digit deficit at halftime due to those struggles. Then, Irving decided that his performance from the first half deserved an encore.

It is hard to overstate how large of an impact Irving had on Saturday. He basically single-handedly willed the Nets back into the game.

This is the superstar that the fans were expecting, and all was well — until the final possessions of regulation.

Irving was holding the ball with over five seconds left on the shot clock, and around 10 in the game overall. He decided to throw up a shot instead of running out more clock, which bricked, and Derrick Rose went cross-court for the game-tying layup. It was overtime in Detroit, and the flashbacks for Nets’ fans started, with team holding 1-4 extra-time record going into Saturday night.

Irving quickly atoned for his mistake.

Between Irving and Jarrett Allen, the overtime period was dominated by Brooklyn. What could have been a tragedy instead became a celebration, or at least a sigh of relief.

Brooklyn has been spiraling in recent weeks and desperately needed this win. The fact that it took an overtime possession is troubling, but at this point, the Nets needed whatever they can get to end the skid. With a seven-game stretch against .500 or below teams kicking off on Saturday, this was a good start. 

It may not have been pretty, but Brooklyn will take it.

Kyrie Irving


The stats: 45 PTS, 15-30 FG, 5-12 3PT, 10-10 FT, 6 REB, 7 AST, 1 TO, 40 MIN

Kyrie Irving plays basketball like he has cheat codes on.

Saturday night, he played up to his contract and then some. This seems like a quintessential Kyrie Irving performance — he was perfect from the free-throw line and his assist-to-turnover ratio was amazing, especially considering how frequently he was handling the ball.

He made a few questionable decisions, like his shot near the end of regulation that allowed the Pistons to tie it. Other than that, this is a performance Nets fans can gush over.

Jarrett Allen


The stats: 20 PTS, 8-13 FG, 4-6 FT, 15 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4 BLK, 2 TO, 40 MIN

Andre Drummond has historically been a bully that steals Jarrett Allen’s lunch money. But on Saturday, Allen gave back as much as he has gotten.

Allen was unquestionably the second-best player tonight after Irving. His presence on both sides of the ball was monstrous, and the Nets will need more of it to be a force in the Eastern Conference.

Garrett Temple


The stats: 4 PTS, 1-5 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-2 FT, 5 REB, 0 TO, 22 MIN

Garrett Temple has not been playing well as of late.

His addition to the starting lineup has already been called into question, and realistically the coaching staff does not have the luxury of waiting to figure out how to make it work. The team needs to go on a winning streak through this easier stretch of schedule to reaffirm their spot in the playoffs.

If Temple is not performing, a change needs to be made sooner rather than later.