From the desk of: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH
Nets win season series; 2-0
I - BKN 112; DEN 110
Brooklyn Nets 29th Victory Surpasses Last Season's Win Total.
Last Friday evening I was listening on sports radio to N.Y. Post's Brian Lewis crediting much of the Nets success this season on their defensive prioritization. And while Kenny Atkinson maintains a grip on the greater issues at hand, Lewis says the greater impact upon the team's overall focus is most attributable to veterans DeMarre Carroll, Ed Davis, and Jared Dudley.
Although 130 points might suggest otherwise, defense was again front and center against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night at Barclays. Their efforts helped Brooklyn amass a lead upwards of 20-points. Which in turn permitted them to withstand and outlast Nikola Jokic's triple double (25 points; 10 assists; 14 rebounds) and Denver's fourth quarter surge in which they outscored the Nets by 16-points.
With Spencer Dinwiddie out, D'Angelo Russell is being afforded time to prove his fourth quarter worth. He led all scorers with 27-points and tied for game high with 11 assists, while playing in a game-high 35-minutes. Joe Harris (... he's so good!) backed up Russell with 17 points in 32 minutes.
The Nets featured six players overall scoring double-digits against Denver. Off the bench, DeMarre Carroll contributed a double-double (18 points; 10 rebounds), while Shabazz Napier posted the Nets third double-double of the game with ten points and 11 assists. Also playing off the bench, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson effectively sticks the dagger through Denver's heart with a dunk making it 133-125 with 25 seconds left. Throughout the game, RHJ and the refs never did see eye to eye. And after being called for a foul on what appeared to be a clean block, he sort of blew his top to earn a technical.
The victory not only snaps the Nets three game skid. It's their 29th victory of the season, which on Feb. 6 surpasses last year's entire win total. It also comes against the Western Conference's second ranked team.
That should send a little tremor throughout the NBA this evening.
But insofar as the message Wednesday night's victory sends: don't mistake their injuries as their weakness. Underestimate the Brooklyn Nets at your own risk.