The Brooklyn Nets rolled into Atlanta with a boatload of confidence coming off an incredible victory in Memphis and a healthy core of players ready to defeat the Atlanta Hawks and Kenny Atkinson’s big brother, Mike Budenholzer. Unfortunately, big brother always finds a way to win as the Hawks were able to squeak out a victory over the Nets 105-110.
After leading for most of the game, turnovers and other silly mistakes cost Brooklyn the victory. Sean Kilpatrick was hot and Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin were firing on all cylinders but Brooklyn failed to protect the paint and not knowing how to close out close games ended up being the biggest reasons why the Nets were unable to extend the win streak to two games.
Kilpatrick’s Hot Streak Gets Hotter
Sean Kilpatrick has been on a tear recently, scoring 20+ points in three straight games. Last night’s 27 point, one assist, four rebound effort off the bench was the reason Brooklyn was in position to come away with a victory so late in the fourth quarter. The return of Lin has changed his game in a major way.
With Lin on the court with him, he is set up with great passes and a smoothly run offense. Even when Lin is off the court, the impact is still felt because he is in the lineup. Kilpatrick is no longer pigeonholed into the role of facilitator of the offense, but allowed to be the free-flowing scorer that he truly is.
Unlike last game where he did his damage from the free-throw line, Kilpatrick pulled out everything from his bag of tricks tonight. He hit pull-up jumpers, three-pointers, reverse layups; he was able to get it done every way possible all while shooting 8 of 14 from the floor. If he keeps having games like this, he will put himself in the conversation of one of the best bench scorers in the league.
If he wants to become a more complete player, he needs to focus on defense and awareness in crunch time. He is a great player but if he wants to be on the court late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line he needs to focus on the little, fundamental aspects of the game.
Brook-Lin’s Chemistry Is Shockingly Great
If you looked at this team on the floor, you’d think Jeremy Lin didn’t miss almost the entire season with injuries. The chemistry between him and Brook Lopez is almost stunning. You would think they have been teammates since college with how familiar they are on the court. All three of Brook’s assists were to Lin and Lin assisted on four of his field goals.
There was one play in particular early in the first quarter when Brook got the ball at the top of the key. He was forced to pick up his dribble due to Howard’s defense and was beginning to scramble to find somewhere to dump the ball off. Instead of panicking, he noticed a cutting Lin and delivered an almost no-look pass to him to give the Nets an early 9-4 lead.