The Brooklyn Nets head into this week coming off of a bounce-back win versus the Miami Heat after two previous consecutive losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Brooklyn will try and use their momentum from the Miami Heat game to help them get back on track this week. The Heat won’t have to wait long to get revenge, as the Nets’ first game this week is versus the Heat, followed by matchups against the Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder, two teams that the Nets have struggled with this year. Let’s dive into each matchup and analyze what the Nets must do in order to come out on top.
Nets vs Miami Heat (1/25)
Two days after beating the Heat in a very competitive game, the Nets take on the defending Eastern Conference Champions once again in Brooklyn. Last game, the Nets could not stop Bam Adebayo, as he poured in 41 points and nine rebounds. The offense will not be an issue coming into this game, but the Nets will never be able to relax if DeAndre Jordan and Reggie Perry keep playing how they have been playing. The Nets need to find an answer for Bam, and other offensive centers, in order to control the game and come out with a win. Without Jimmy Butler, this is a must-win for the Nets, especially against a Miami team that has been very disappointing thus far this season.
Nets vs Atlanta Hawks (1/25)
The Nets have split their two games against the Hawks this season, both very competitive games. The Hawks are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, so containing the three-point shot is a must for the Nets. Clint Capela has also been on a tear lately, and unless Deandre Jordan steps it up big time, expect a monster game from Capela. On the offensive end, I would like to see Harden get a bit more involved, especially early in the game, considering the Hawks have one of the weaker defenses in the league. If the Nets can jump out to an early lead, they should be fine. But if the Hawks catch fire from behind the arc and Capela dominates Jordan, then the Nets will be in some serious trouble.
Nets vs Thunder (1/29)
Believe it or not, the Nets had their worst game this season versus the Thunder just a few weeks ago that ended in a very disappointing loss. This time around, hopefully, things will be different. OKC has cooled down significantly and found themselves at the bottom of the West. In order to avoid the repeat of last time, the Nets have to focus defensively on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hamidou Diallo. They are both two very young guards who are still developing, but they can devastate teams with their ability to get to the rim and can even shoot the three-point shot. From an offensive standpoint alone the Nets should win this game considering how much more star power they have. But crazier things have happened this season, so the Nets must not relax coming into this game.
Key Goal For Brooklyn
Steve Nash’s rotation has been a huge topic this entire season. One thing that has become obvious though is that Bruce Brown needs to get minutes. Brown hardly got any minutes in the two Cleveland games, which was puzzling as he was coming off great games in the previous week. But then during the Miami game, Nash finally gave Brown some minutes back, 17 to be exact, and Brown delivered, scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds, bringing an energy that the Nets had been missing. Look for Brown to get even more minutes this upcoming week.
Overall, the Nets come into this week against two 6-9 teams and one team at .500. The Hawks (Trae Young) and Heat (Jimmy Butler) are both dealing with injuries. The Thunder are simply a far less talented team. The Nets’ goal this week should be to win all three games and to try and find some consistency, especially on the defensive end. It is time for this team to start hitting their groove and winning games, especially against teams that are below .500.