Nets struggle on offense as Bucks continue to roll


Final: 01/18/2020

L 97 117

The Brooklyn Nets continued their tough stretch of games Saturday night when the Bucks came to Brooklyn — and Milwaukee showed why they are the top team in the league.

The game started out well for Brooklyn, keeping up with the firepower behind strong three-point shooting.

It was not sustainable, however, and Milwaukee began to pull away as the Nets struggled to put up a defensive resistance. While Jarrett Allen and Nicolas Claxton tried their best, asking anyone to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo is a herculean task. Even then, the shooting from beyond-the-arc from the Bucks would have been more than enough to push them to the win, as they shot 45.9 percent as a team. 

Once Brooklyn fell behind, there was a lack of spark or energy to get the team back into the game, with the Bucks countering any Nets’ attack. It took three quarters before a player scored in the double-digits, and it did not look pretty.

To be fair, the Nets were without Joe Harris, Garrett Temple and DeAndre Jordan, and the Bucks are the best team in the league right now. This game was going to be a tough challenge no matter what.

One bright spot was how Brooklyn was able to put Antetokounmpo under pressure, with their swarming help defense forcing him into eight turnovers in the game.

Despite that effort, the Nets extended their losing streak to three with the next opportunity to break it coming in a rematch against Philadelphia in Brooklyn on Monday.

Kyrie Irving


The stats: 17 PTS, 6-15 FG, 2-6 3PT, 3-3 FT, 6 REB, 6 AST, 4 STL, 2 TO, 31 MIN

First of all, major respect for being willing to take a charge from the Greek Freak.

Now, this is not an indictment on Irving’s controversial comments, but it is not great when your star player is at the center of a media maelstrom while the team is struggling. Irving was expected to be the driving force behind this squad while Kevin Durant recovers, so him taking just 15 shots in 48 minutes was a bit of a surprise.

Something that nobody expected to hear coming into this season: Kyrie Irving needs to shoot the ball more.

Nicolas Claxton


The stats: 14 PTS, 7-12 FG, 6 REB, 1 AST, 3 BLK, 1 TO, 19 MIN

Nicolas Claxton does not deserve to be relegated to the G-League.

Claxton is yet another example of Sean Mark’s exceptional drafting ability. He has shown offensive capabilities that sometimes exceed those of Allen’s, and he is no slouch defensively either.

The whole Nets team benefits from Claxton being on the court, and hopefully, when Jordan is healthy, he will still find a spot on the roster.

Spencer Dinwiddie


The stats: 11 PTS, 3-12 FG, 3-6 3PT, 2-2 FT, 3 REB, 3 AST, 2 TO, 27 MIN

There were major questions as to how Spencer Dinwiddie would fit into the lineup with the return of Irving.

While Saturday evening was not the best example as the whole team struggled, it still appears as if the issues were vastly overstated. Having more capable ball-handlers on the court is always positive.

Will this lineup issue have to be re-evaluated as time goes on? Absolutely. The most obvious choice to replace Dinwiddie as a starter is Caris LeVert, who had his own struggles as he put up six points on 3-for-13 shooting.