The Brooklyn Nets ended their last ever circus road trip with a bad taste in their mouth after dropping a very winnable game to the Dallas Mavericks 105-96.
After leading for almost three quarters of the game, the Nets were unable to overcome a fourth quarter serge from Harrison Barnes, Seth Curry, and the Mavericks. The Nets played an alright game but had too many things going against them by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. The biggest things to take away from this game were Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert were non-factors on offense, Jeremy Lin‘s minutes restriction is slowly getting lifted, the bench anchored the team in scoring, and old habits keep leading to Brooklyn’s downfall.
Dallas Took Hollis-Jefferson & LeVert Out Of The Game
Since the All-Star break, Brooklyn has embraced the youth movement and started both Hollis-Jefferson and LeVert together in order for the two to get familiar with each other and get them some much needed, meaningful minutes on an NBA court. While overall they’ve played well together, last night against the Mavericks they were non-factors and it really hurt the team.
Hollis-Jefferson ended the game with four points and five rebounds in 18 minutes while LeVert finished with two points, two assists, and two rebounds in 21 minutes played. They were matched up on accomplished defenders like Wes Matthews and Harrison Barnes, who did an excellent job of disrupting their shots and denying them the ball.
Matthews is regarded as one of the premier 3&D players in the NBA while Barnes has enough length and athleticism to blanket defenders. Barnes matched up particularly well against Hollis-Jefferson. Barnes is essentially the player Brooklyn wants to mold Hollis-Jefferson into. A lanky and athletic player who can run the floor, handle the ball, defend four positions with ease, and shoot threes. Hollis-Jefferson should watch this game film very close and take note of everything Barnes does because it’ll only help him develop as a player.
The final factor behind their bad game is the increasingly odd minutes distributions for this team. How can any young player get a rhythm going when they are constantly getting yanked off the floor? The moment they get something going they are immediately taken off the floor so everyone can get in the game. With so few games left on the season, its time to let the boys play.
Lin Played The Most Minutes Since Injury
Jeremy Lin has looked pretty good following the series of hamstring injuries that sidelined him for most of the season but has been playing under very strict minutes restrictions since returning post All-Star break. After last night’s game, its looking like the minutes restriction is being lifted and could be a thing of the past in the near future.
Last night Lin played 26 minutes and in that time he was able to amass 18 points, three assists, five rebounds, and two steals while shooting four of nine from the floor and hitting nine of ten free throws. He did just an okay job guarding former Net Yogi Ferrell, but overall Lin played an average game by his standards.