Three Lessons: Brooklyn Nets Take A Dive At The Hive

Well there went the Nets’ chance for winning two games in a row. The Brooklyn Nets, fresh off upsetting the Atlanta Hawks, took yet another step backwards losing to the Charlotte Hornets 116-111. The good news is that the Nets scored more points in this game than in any other this season. The bad news is that the Nets gave up more points in this game than in any other this season.

Thaddeus Young went off in this game, scoring 27 points while grabbing eleven rebounds. Brook Lopez dropped 23 points in 35 minutes of play and Jarrett Jack continued his efficient play almost messing around and getting a triple-double with 16 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. Joe Johnson finished with 16 points, helping the Nets fire out the gate with 13 first quarter points.

Nicolas Batum led the Hornets with 24 points and eight assists. Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker both added 18 to the cause.

This game was weird to figure out. On paper, this was a game that you’d think the Nets could have and should have won. However, taking a closer look at this game, the “Vampires in Brooklyn” reared their ugly heads once again.

Here’s my three lessons…

1.) If the Brooklyn Nets do not figure out the importance of the three-point shot, the Nets will struggle.

This goes for both ends of the floor. Against the Atlanta Hawks, the Nets easily had their best shooting from distance, knocking down 9/20 shots. Against the Charlotte Hornets, the Brooklyn Nets only knocked down 5/15 three-point shots. The Charlotte Hornets enjoyed a robust 11/25 from the land of three. Breaking this down mathematically, the Hornets outscored the Nets 33-15 from distance. This is a glaring stat. Look, we have a good idea that unless you are named Shane Larkin these days, the Nets are not consistent three-point shooters. But you can not allow opponents to have free reign shooting three-pointers all night. What’s worse, out of the five threes the Nets hit all night, Joe Johnson knocked down three of them in the first few minutes of the game!

The NBA is all about small-ball mentality, and the Nets are doing a very poor job in adjusting to the times. Teams around the league, along with the Charlotte Hornets who beat the Nets this week, have the “3 and D” player (Marvin Williams) and the “stretch four” (Spencer Hawes). Nicolas Batum, who the Hornets got to know personally, can play both positions. The Brooklyn Nets continue to parade Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Jarrett Jack, and Joe Johnson out there every night and it is getting so frustrating to watch a team that refuses to make adjustments based on what is happening in the game and around the NBA. This falls squarely on the shoulders of Lionel Hollins, who just happens to be the subject of the next lesson…

2.) Lionel Hollins is starting to get outcoached on a nightly basis. What’s worse, he makes some strange decisions sometimes.

As stated before, Thaddeus Young was housing the Hornets to the tune of 27 points. Tends to reason that Charlotte can’t stop this guy. Well leave it to Lionel Hollins to leave the man on the bench for eight minutes in the fourth quarter. Come on man! Cody Zeller was out on Sugar Creek Drive selling incense and T-shirts making money for Young based on the treatment Thaddeus was giving him. Hollins did something that Hornets had no chance to do… slow down Thaddeus Young.

Consider that Thaddeus Young scored 13 of his 27 in the third quarter when the Nets really needed scoring, Young at one point scored six consecutive baskets. In other words, the man was HOT! Hollins should have rode the hot hand out of the Queen City. Well the Nets did need his scoring in the fourth when the Hornets stormed to 28 fourth quarter points…

It gets stranger, folks.

With the Nets down 112-108 with under one minute remaining, Lionel Hollins calls a timeout negating a fast break opportunity. Again, Hollins is slowing down the offense at an inopportune time. Anyway the play he drew up didn’t work. The Nets walk the ball up (under a minute in the game down four, remember?), get an offensive foul called on Brook Lopez for a moving screen and the game is over.

Speaking of Brook Lopez…

3.) Brook Lopez is taking showers in crunch time.

Brook Lopez is getting paid max contract money. Max contract players usually want the ball in crunch time. Usually max contract players DELIVER in crunch time. Lopez is not that player. Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you that when the street light came on you had to be in the house? Well in Lopez’s case, it happens with about four minutes left in games. I mean where is this guy when it matters?

With about two and a half minutes remaining, Brook Lopez scored his 23rd and final points of the game. After that, he missed a shot, had two fouls (one that ended the Nets chances on the offensive end), and turned the ball over. All of these events happened with the Nets in the bonus. Here’s a thought Brook…


Here’s what I learned… NOW LEARN FROM THIS!

In terms of net rating, the Brooklyn Nets’ starting lineup ranks second in the NBA. Can we pass this on to Lionel Hollins? The constant change of lineups are affecting the flow of the entire team and they are struggling to get a rhythm.