Nets struggle mightily against the Heat, 120-107.

D

Final: 11/14/2018

L 107 120

Dinwiddie 1

The Brooklyn Nets were looking to make a statement in their first home game in over 10 days. This was also the first game that the Nets would be playing without Caris LeVert, who suffered a subtalar dislocation of the right foot. He is expected to be healthy and back in the lineup sometime later this season — but his gaping loss, predictably, made navigating the hot temperatures even more difficult. With Jarrett Allen also not active due to an illness, the Miami Heat would prove to be quite the obstacle.

The absence of two of the Nets’ most important contributors on defense was immediately felt. The team was outscored 24-8 in the paint during the first quarter which allowed the Heat to blow open a 16 point lead. The results weren’t any more encouraging on the other side of the court as the Nets had a hard time getting the ball into the basket without LeVert, shooting 20% early on. Perhaps still emotionally drained, Brooklyn just looked lethargic and unable to adapt to Miami’s scorching marks from the floor.

Honestly, the game was pretty ugly.

Some hope was restored as D’Angelo Russell and Jared Dudley subbed in towards the end of the second quarter and led the Nets on a run to close the lead from 22 to just 12 points going into halftime.

That hope was then quickly extinguished in the third quarter. The Nets’ defense was lackluster. The Heat pushed the lead back towards 20. Kenneth Faried got significant playing time. At this point, that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

There were a lot of negatives from this game that could be focused on, such as the poor shooting from the three-point line, the lack of energy and focus on both sides of the floor, and the obvious absence of their looming defensive presence in the paint.

It was not all terrible, however, as the Nets grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to the Heat’s five. On top of that, Brooklyn also managed to win the turnover battle, 13-17.

Ultimately, this game demonstrated just how valuable Jarret Allen and Caris LeVert are to this Nets team on both sides of the ball. Luckily, Allen isn’t expected to miss many more games with his illness. In the meantime, we here at The Brooklyn Game wish LeVert a speedy and complete recovery. Until then, things could get pretty troubling in the borough. 

D'Angelo Russell

C

The stats: 12 PTS, 6-18 FG, 0-3 3PT, 3 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO

D’Angelo Russell took a step back tonight after his burning performance against the Timberwolves.

The issue tonight for Russell wasn’t so much his shot selection, but the fact that he simply couldn’t get his good shots to fall. In spite of his own struggles, he still prevented the offense from stagnating while he was on the floor, leaving him with a plus-minus of only minus-4 in a game that was not very competitive.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

B-

The stats: 14 PTS, 6-13 FG, 5 OREB, 9 REB, AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 2 TO

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had arguably his best game of the season to date.

Hollis-Jefferson has had a slow start to his season as he has slowly been reintegrated into the lineup. While he struggled early on defense, he found a groove on offense and was one of the Nets’ leading scorers throughout the frustrating evening. He played with a lot of his classic, signature energy and earned the Nets extra possessions that could have made the difference in a closer game.

Spencer Dinwiddie

C+

The stats: 18 PTS, 6-12 FG, 1-5 3PT, 3 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4 TO

Spencer Dinwiddie did exactly as you would expect.

When the Nets are down big early, Dinwiddie is their go-to guy to close the gap. Tonight, he struggled with that burden, putting up a team worst plus-minus of minus-24. Most of his points came when the game was already out of reach, such as this pretty sequence from the third quarter.

In a night of disappointing performances, Dinwiddie put together a valiant effort, despite the box score observations.

Jared Dudley

C

The stats: 10 PTS, 4-9 FG, 2-4 3PT, 5 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO

Jared Dudley showed diverseness in his offensive game.

Dudley was the other leading scorer for the Nets alongside Hollis-Jefferson. He also worked with Russell to stimulate the offense when Brooklyn went on their run of false hope. His veteran presence and level-headedness is something that will be sorely needed in the coming weeks.

Oh, and these buckets don’t hurt his case either.

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