The Brooklyn Nets started the season looking more competitive than expected. Jeremy Lin, Bojan Bogdanovic and Brook Lopez led an offense that scored 105 points per game, but struggled defensively. Randy Foye, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sean Kilpatrick, Trevor Booker and Justin Hamilton stepped up as underdogs and the Nets looked like an average team. But after the Nets defeat the Detroit Pistons, Jeremy Lin went down, and so did the Nets.
Lin strained his hamstring and missed the last eight games. The Nets have only won two games during that span. The already struggling defense gave up 116 points per game. They’ve given up at least 124 points per game on their current four game losing streak. That streak will be tough to break.
The Nets next six games are against the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks (Home at home). All five of these teams average over 101 points per game. The Nets give up 113.3, the second most in the NBA. These are not the teams the Nets want to play without a point guard.
Isaiah Whitehead, Randy Foye and Sean Kilpatrick rotated in starting roles while Lin’s been out. Without a point guard, these are the opponent’s guards stats during their losing streak:
Chris Paul: 21 points, 9 assists
D’Angelo Russell: 32 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
Russell Westbrook: 30 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds
C.J. McCollum: 33 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds
Next up is Isaiah Thomas, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, Chris Paul and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Lin is close to returning but still has no return date. Plummeting in the power rankings, the Nets rank amongst the worst teams in the NBA.
Going into the season, no one expected the Nets to compete. They kept games close during the first few weeks, but now teams are blowing them out.
Lin’s return will help this struggling team, but it won’t win them many games. Their defense is poor in an offensive driven league and they don’t score enough. Only four players average more than 10 points per game.
Kenny Atkinson is a great coach in a poor situation. He’s got little talent without the teams first-round pick. He coaches his players to the final whistle and the Nets rank third in the NBA with 28.1 fourth quarter points per game.
If the Nets trade Brook Lopez they’ll become the worst team in the NBA. When Ben Simmons, Tyreke Evans and Dirk Nowitzki return for their respective teams, they’ll all be better than the Nets. The Boston Celtics are the luckiest team in the NBA.
We are watching the real Brooklyn Nets. They’re a team that can’t score and can’t defend. This rebuild is a process no one can trust.