The Brooklyn Nets cannot win a road game. The Nets lost again tonight against the Sacramento Kings, 107-86, and were never even in the game in the second half. The Nets have had probably the easiest road schedule in the entire NBA, but are now 0-4 on the road after losing to Cleveland, Orlando, Washington, and Sacramento and overall they are only 2-5 on the season. Brook Lopez had 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks for the Nets. Marcus Thornton had 22 off the bench for Sacramento.
The Nets showed a total lack of effort in this game, much like the Orlando game a few weeks ago. They were outscored in the first half, but then it got really ugly in the third quarter when Sacramento led by more than 20 points. The Nets had a little bit of a run to start the fourth quarter, led by Shaun Livingston, where they cut the lead to under 15, but they never got it under 10.
Brooklyn’s offense was really, really bad in this game. They have shown plenty of signs of having a good offense in the first 6 games of the year, but all of that went away tonight. The good shot selection and smart passing totally disappeared, leading the team to only 14 assists and a shooting percentage of 38. The defense wasn’t horrible, as the Kings made some difficult shots, but it wasn’t good either. The Nets have a lot of work to do.
We all know that it is a process to put a team like this together and you can include as many other cliches as you want, but this is a game the Nets have no excuse for losing, let alone getting blown out. The Kings are a 1-5 team who has lost 5 games in a row and is clearly looking forward to next year’s draft. Sure, they hit some lucky shots in this game, but the Nets are far too talented to lose a game like this, especially when their backs are against the wall, as they have said.
If you are a Nets fan, it is time to start getting concerned.
Player grades and notes:
Paul Pierce: C
Probably had the best offensive game of any Net, finishing with 12 points and 9 rebounds, including a big dunk, but didn’t play much defense or show much of anything. Multiple Kings, from John Salmons to Travis Outlaw were hitting jump shots over Pierce all night long.
Kevin Garnett: D
Another awful offensive game for Garnett, who shot 2-9 from the field. I think the sample size is now big enough on Garnett’s jump shots to realize that there is, in fact, a problem here. He’s getting the same shots that he has gotten in the past and is just missing them. His defense was also nothing special.
Brook Lopez: C+
Brook was the only Net who played any defense whatsoever, finishing with 9 rebounds and 5 blocks, but for some reason, he was unable to do much on offense tonight, at least in the first 3 quarters when the Nets were still in the game. Part of that is his teammates’ faults for not getting the ball to Lopez, especially in the third quarter when Demarcus Cousins was out of the game.
Deron Williams: D
Deron had probably his worst game of the season and didn’t look like the Deron Williams we know. Did not try to pass the ball at all and tried to take over himself in the third quarter. Although he hit a couple of shots, for the most part, it did not work at all. 2 assists through 3 quarters is unacceptable for a guy who has averaged over 10 in the past.
Joe Johnson: D
A very “meh” 10 points for Joe. He didn’t do anything else and didn’t play any defense, especially on Marcus Thornton. Johnson did not make a 3 the whole game.
The bench and depth of this team was supposed to be a strength heading into the year. So far this season, it has been pretty awful, and they brought no energy at all tonight. Shaun Livingston had a nice little run in the fourth quarter, but other than that, nothing.
The Nets continue their road trip on Friday night when they will visit a surprisingly good Phoenix team. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.