New year, same nets?
The Brooklyn Nets continued a disturbing trend of not beating a contending NBA team with their 121-109 loss to Milwaukee at the Barclays Center on Friday night. The Nets, who trailed to 24 at one stage, are now down to 0-8 this season against the top teams.
Brooklyn has now lost five straight games at Barclays Center, and four of their last five overall. Their last home win came against the Sixers on December 16.
“I don’t expect us to have a big home advantage if we play basketball,” Kevin Durant said after the game.
If the Nets are to compete for a championship, they’ll have to start winning some of those games against other championship contending teams. After the loss to Milwaukee, which was not as close as the score might indicate, the second-year head coach Steve Nash was asked what intangibles have missed this season.
“You name it,” he said.
What is of most concern to the Nets is that among games played against “high-level competition,” they lost six of the double-digit eight, and one of the single-digit losses (Phoenix) they lost. fell to 22 before making a late run when the game was essentially over.
The losses include two against Chicago, and now two against Milwaukee.
Brooklyn’s line of defeat in their 8 games against the other top 8 teams …
@ MIL: -23
against MIA: -13
@ CHI: -23
against GSW: -18
against PHX: -6 (followed by 22 in 4th, end of race)
against CHI: -4
against MEM: -14
against MIL: -12 (it wasn’t that close)
– John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) January 8, 2022
Durant finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but James Harden had a tough night of shooting, finishing with just 16 points (6 of 15 from the field), nine rebounds and seven assists.
Harden, who the Nets will need to produce to help offset Kyrie Irving’s part-time status, has an effective field goal percentage of just 40.7% against the top teams.
The Nets need these questions answered soon.
What was once a clear favorite to win the East has now fallen to third place in the Conference, just one game ahead of Miami in fourth. Brooklyn has a home game against the Spurs on Sunday, before heading to Portland.
Their first chance to play one of the top eight with Kyrie Irving will be next Wednesday in Chicago. Nothing less than an impressive victory will suffice.