What a game it was for the Brooklyn Nets. Former OKC teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden played together for the first time since 2012, and they did not disappoint. Harden in his Nets debut became the only player in franchise history to have a triple-double in their debut. His 14 assists is also a Nets franchise record for most assists in a debut. Durant had an incredible game as well scoring 42 points on an efficient 16-26 shooting. He has now scored 25+ points in 9 straight games, which again is a Nets franchise record.
For the rest of the team, most did exactly what you expect them to do. Joe Harris of course had another amazing shooting performance, knocking down 4 triples. Bruce Brown continues to be an effective perimeter defender for this team, even though his box score numbers may not be eye-popping. Brown hit a clutch three late for the Nets as well.
Nets Defense Looking a Bit Shaky
In the aftermath of the Harden trade, the Nets lost their best interior presence. Jarrett Allen‘s rim protection and shot-blocking ability is going to be greatly missed by this team. Nikola Vucevic went off in this game because of that.
While most Nets fans already know this, it should be said again. DeAndre Jordan just isn’t it. If his lazy play on the court doesn’t do it for you, just look at the stat-sheet. He scored 2 points and grabbed 5 boards this game as this team’s best center. Sean Marks needs to make move for a center as soon as possible. Jeff Green as a small-ball five may be a better center option than DeAndre Jordan, but that’s just a personal opinion.
It’s a given that the Nets will go as far as their defense lets them. Yes, the Nets had a terrific offensive game, but the game was still close. They only beat the Orlando Magic by 7 points because they gave up 115 points to them. Orlando was short-handed in this game as well!
Maybe we should give this team a pass because Harden didn’t even practice with the team, but defensive intensity should be priority number one. Again, the Nets will have no problem scoring, but let’s see who’s willing to do the dirty work. No championship team has finished lower than 11th in defensive rating since 2004. Nets currently rank 12th and it will probably be going down. Defense wins championships. Period.
Upcoming Game for the Nets
The Nets will be off tomorrow, but are going to be right back at it on Monday. They will be playing in a primetime matchup on MLK Day against the Milwaukee Bucks. The game will be in Brooklyn and will broadcasted on TNT at 7:30 PM EST.
It’s important to note that the Nets with James Harden haven’t even had a practice yet. He wasn’t allowed to practice or play with the team until the full trade was official. All player hadn’t passed their physicals until right before game time. It was revealed that Caris LeVert has a small mass on a kidney, so our thoughts and prayers at Allnysports are with him. We all wish you a speedy recovery.
Performances of Note
Kevin Durant – 42 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 16-26 FG, 5-8 3PT, 5-5 FT, 40 minutes
James Harden – 32 points, 14 assists, 12 rebounds, 4 steals, 8-18 FG, 3-10 3PT, 13-15 FT, 40 minutes
Joe Harris – 17 points, 5 rebounds, 6-11 FG, 4-9 3PT, 30 minutes
Nikola Vucevic – 34 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, 14-22 FG, 6-12 3PT, 36 minutes
Terrence Ross – 23 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 9-17 FG, 3-10 3PT, 32 minutes
Cole Anthony – 16 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 6-15 FG, 2-5 3PT, 29 minutes
Aaron Gordon – 11 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 4-11 FG, 3-4 FT, 31 minutes