Game Recaps

Recap: Nets 96, Bucks 103 - Nets Falter Late, Fall to 0-4

The Brooklyn Nets offense took a step forward Monday night, collecting season highs in field goal percentage and three-point shots, but couldn’t contain the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets fell to the Bucks, 103-96, at the Barclays Center, allowing Milwaukee to claim their first win of the season.

Perhaps the game-changing moment of the contest for Brooklyn was when Brook Lopez collected his fifth foul with almost five minutes left, forcing Hollins to pull him at a pivotal point in the game. The offense was finally flowing well and eventually would tie the game after fighting back from being down 11 at halftime.

The team lost it on both sides of the ball with their MVP. Coach Hollins made the decision to not put Lopez back in the game until the nineteen-second mark, a decision received poorly by Nets fans. Brooklyn would allow 11 points and hit just one field goal the rest of the game.

Out of the gate the Nets offense was on point, compiling 33 points in the first quarter. They looked to get Lopez going early with nine points in the opening quarter. Jarrett Jack also opened the game with seven points. The problem is that the defense allowed the same amount of points to the Bucks offense. Milwaukee’s center, Greg Monroe, got going early as well, hitting the first two field goals of the night for his team. Monroe had his way with Brook Lopez all evening in shooting 71% from the field for 23 points.

As the Nets offense slowed down in the second quarter the Bucks offense continued to play hard. Jerry Bayless, who started with Jabari Parker and OJ Mayo nursing injuries, would finish the first half with five three-point makes. Bayless finished with a game-high 26 points on a career-high six three-pointers.

Storming out of halftime, Brooklyn began the half on a 9-2 scoring run to cut Milwaukee’s lead to just four. In a quarter that saw eight of the team’s 21 assists, the Nets ended the third quarter down by only two points.

Brooklyn’s biggest bright spot in the game was their 25 points off turnovers, which was a huge defensive leap forward for the team. If not for Bayless hitting six threes this Bucks team would have likely been held in the 90’s and the game could have ended very differently.

In the fourth quarter Shane Larkin looked great for the Nets, hitting three tough field goals to keep his team in contention. It was clear that without Lopez on the floor this team was lost. Lopez was the lone starter in the fourth quarter who hit a field goal. Without Lopez distracting opposing defenses this starting unit really has to claw its way to produce.

Lopez didn’t return until the nineteen-second mark and by that time the game was all but lost. Following his departure from the game due to foul trouble the Nets allowed 11 points while scoring just two the rest of the way.

Not really,” is how Coach Hollins responded to reporters when asked if he regretted waiting as long as he did to bring Lopez back in the game. An interesting response seeing as Lopez is the centerpiece of the offense.

Brooklyn tied their season high in three-point percentage at 31%. That’s not good. The lack of consistent three-point shooting continues to remain one of the team’s most gaping issues early on in the season.

Defensively, this team showed positive signs, particularly in the second half where they were able to capitalize on opponent turnovers that were either forced or just plain mistakes by the Bucks players. One big energy play came with the Bucks up three, when Giannis Antetokounmpo had the ball in isolation and Shane Larkin stole the ball and took it to the basket for the score to bring the game to within one. The porous perimeter defense of the Nets was a problem yet again, as seen in Jerry Bayless hitting a career high in triples. Brooklyn allowed the Milwaukee starters to hit 9/18 three point shots in the game.

The Brooklyn Nets will continue their search for their first win on Wednesday night at Phillips Arena to play the Atlanta Hawks in what will be a rematch of last year’s playoff matchup.


  • Brook Lopez hit all five of his mid-range shot attempts in the game. He has had the capability to shoot from mid-range but this year Coach Hollins has told him not hesitate when an open jumper is present.
  • Markel Brown started again at shooting guard, playing 26 minutes and was an energy booster in what was his best stat line of the season thus far. (Seven points, one three-pointer, two assists, two rebounds, and one block)
  • Bojan Bogdanovic scored in double figures for the second-consecutive game and scored 14 points off the bench. His success is correlated with his ability to be the centerpiece of the offense when coming off the bench instead of being the last option with the starters as I had touched upon earlier this week.
  • Andrea Bargnani had a very poor game from the field, finishing the game 1/8 on field goal attempts. Most of Bargnani’s shots appeared forced, demonstrating poor shot selection from the Italian big man.