Recap: Nets 91, Grizzlies 101 - Another Game, Another Loss
The Brooklyn Nets starters, playing in the second game of a back-to-back, looked tired and disjointed in a 101-91 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, although once again their bench showed flashes of quality.
The game started with both teams scoring at will- after a Thaddeus Young layup halfway through the quarter, the Grizzlies were only leading 15-12 and neither team looked to be in control. In the next 30 seconds, Brook Lopez picked up two fouls and Mike Conley drained a 3-pointer, and the game was never that close again.
Lopez picked up his third foul with 3 minutes left in the first quarter and was pulled from the game, handing over a 6 point deficit to the second unit. He wouldn’t return to the game until the second half. Bojan Bogdanovic closed the quarter with some energy off the bench, scoring 7 points in less than 4 minutes of game time.
In the second quarter, the Nets did their best to keep the game close- every time it looked like the Grizzlies were going to pull away, they fought back and kept it fairly close. Whenever Mike Conley was on the court, however, there was no question of which team was dominant. He balanced his own scoring with ball distribution on offense and hounded Jarrett Jack and Shane Larkin on defense.
The second half was much the same as the first half- the Nets would make a little run to get the game within single digits, then Mike Conley would lead the Grizzlies back to a - lead.
In the final period, the Nets cut the lead to 6 points with a minute less to play, but Zach Randolph hit a turnaround jumper and Bogdanovic threw away an inbound pass out of timeout, thwarting any chance at a miraculous comeback.
The Nets outscored the Grizzlies in the paint (56-42) and shot better from the floor (48%-42%), but they still lost by 10 points. The biggest difference was from beyond the arc, where the Nets only got 9 points from 13 shots, while the Grizzlies got 27 points from 23 shots. The Grizzlies aren’t the Golden State Warriors- they have a reputation for struggling to space the floor and relying on scoring inside from their bigs. When they triple your output from 3, you’re in trouble. This continues to be the biggest problem the Nets have on offense, as they have shot 21% from beyond the arc through their first 3 games on 38 shots. The Nets currently have the third worst Offensive Rating in the league and the only way that will change is if their shooters start making shots from deep.
On the defensive side, the team looked slightly more in sync this game. Their biggest problem continues to be Andrea Bargnani, who is a sieve and was soundly outplayed at backup center by the undersized Thomas Robinson. Beyond Bargnani, their point guard defense was abysmal. Jack and Larkin both allowed Conley to penetrate at will and left him open for wide open jump shots. Larkin especially struggles to defend on the perimeter- he is too small and gets obliterated on screens. Point guard play was supposed to be the weak point on this team, but if anything it has been worse than expected, at least on the defensive end.
- Markel Brown got the start at shooting guard, but was a non-entity and only ended up playing 14 minutes. Speaking of non-entities: Wayne Ellington continued his dismal start to the season and Rondae Hollis Jefferson looked lost.
- Joe Johnson had a solid game according to the box score (11 points on 4/7 shooting, 3 assists, 2 rebounds), but something about him still doesn’t look right. He had a bruised right hand from the game against the Spurs on Friday, but he still seems a step slow on defense and unsure of himself on the offensive side of the ball. To be fair, Johnson has had to face three exceptional defensive wings in Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Tony Allen. But the road doesn’t get any easier, as he will have to face the long-limbed Bucks on Monday. If the Nets hope to be competitive, they will need more from their veteran wing.
- Thomas Robinson played very well in limited minutes, bringing energy and effort off the bench. Due to Lopez’s foul troubles, Hollins gave Thomas Robinson some time at center, and despite his size disadvantage, he held his own defensively against Marc Gasol. The big man put up 8 points and 12 rebounds in only 15 minutes and was a bright spot in the loss.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 1, 2015
- Thaddeus Young was the Nets best player in this game. He defended well, even though most of the time he was guarding the massive Zach Randolph, picking up a block and a couple steals. On the offensive side, he scored 11 points on 5-8 shooting and showed off some crisp passing skills. As unreliable a metric as plus/minus is, Young was +2 on the night, the only Net to post a positive number. That is a fair representation of the type of night he had.
- The Brooklyn Nets fall to 0-3 following their 91-101 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, and will play next on Monday at 7:30 pm (EST), at home against the Bucks.