Sunday, January 04, 2015

Brooklyn Nets: Somewhere between Miami and Mediocrity

From the desk of:  THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

BROOKLYN NETS: Flatbush Big Three; Garnett, Jack, And Plumlee; Looking To Turn Up Heat In Miami.

That wasn't the plan, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Conventional wisdom..., right?

Is it conceivable that Lionel Hollins would finish the balance of the season with Deron Williams and Brook Lopez coming off the bench?  That remains to be seen, but don't put it past him.  He's made it very clear to everyone exactly how he feels.

Then again, the trade deadline is in February, so perhaps he'll bend (if it helps Billy King seek moves).

Whatever Hollins is doing, it's starting to work.

Entering tonight's game with the Heat, the Nets seemed to have gained a measure of balance.  At 16-16, they haven't been at .500 since November 14th.  They're 8-8 at home, and 8-8 on the road.

The numbers go askew, however, when you consider their 14-3 record against sub .500 teams, and their 2-13 record against winning teams.

According to those numbers, the Nets should have a good night in Miami against the Heat, who have cooled since the departure of LeBron James.  They enter Sunday's game with a 14-20 record, and an 6-12 record at home.

The Nets have won three in a row, and six of their last seven, and are two games removed from a dominant performance against the Chicago Bulls.

The Nets should escape the heat tonight, but they're still battling mediocrity.

POST GAME: Heat Burn Nets Early; Turn Back Nets Comeback Late.
NETS  84
Heat    88

Not so fast...!

The Nets win steak got stopped at three Sunday night by the Miami Heat.  The Boys from Flatbush fell behind 30-21 after the opening quarter, and couldn't make up the difference.

Or, you could say the Nets shooting was atrocious; your pick.

Brooklyn hoisted 86(!) shots from the field, and only connected on 34 for a 39.5% night from the field, with 24 of those attempts coming from beyond the arch.  The Heat were 31/67, for a 46.3% success from the field.

Miami was lenient in the paint.  Brooklyn scored 40 points in the paint, and only took 13 shots from the stripe.  Miami diced up the Nets with 21/28 from the line.

The Nets had five players score double digits, versus two for Miami.  Chris Bosh led all scorers with 26 points, and was followed by Dwayne Wade's 25 points.  Joe Johnson and Mason Plumlee led the Nets starters with 19 and 12 points respectively.

Off the bench, Brook Lopez scored 16 points, while Deron Williams added 13 points and led all players with 8 assists.

Mason Plumlee and Brook Lopez lost a rebound battle 12/15 to Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside, whom led all players with 10 rebounds off the bench.

The important numbers dipped under par again.

The Nets are below .500 again with a 16-17 record, and are now 8-7 on the road.  Their record falls to 14-4 against teams with below .500 records.

The Nets have a quick turnaround.  They'll fly from Miami back to NYC for a Monday night game against the Dallas Mavericks at Barclays Center.

With Sunday's convincing 109- 90 victory over the Cavaliers, the Mavs arrive on Flatbush Ave with a 25-10 record, and just 1/2 game behind 1st place Memphis in the Southwest Division.  By the way, the Mavs also feature Rajon Rondo these days, who's scoring 7 points more per game over what he scored with Boston.

Mason Plumlee averages a (per-36 minute) double/double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.


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