Last week, I said it should be the Brooklyn Nets’ goal to go into that week and win all 4 of those games. It started off great. With dominant wins versus the Heat and Thunder, and then squeaking out a victory in Atlanta in OT. However, last night, in a game versus the Washington Wizards, the Nets completely blew their lead with 8 seconds left in the game after controlling the game for most of the way. In a game last night that lacked effort and heart, the Nets head into this week looking to put up more of a fight on the defensive end. This upcoming week will not be easy. As the Nets face the Las Angeles Clippers, the Toronto Raptors, and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets will have to play nearly perfect basketball if they want to win ⅔ of these games, and should go into these games knowing that they could see one or two of these teams in the playoffs.
Brooklyn vs Clippers (2/2)
In one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the season, Brookyln take on the Clippers on Tuesday at Barclays. Both teams possess star power, but one huge advantage the Clippers have over the Nets is their bench unit. So not only do the Nets have to worry about containing Kawhii Lenard and Paul George, but also have to focus defensively on the 2nd unit. Led by Marcus Morris, Lou Williams, and Luke Kennard. The Clippers are also the best 3 point shooting team percentage-wise in the league. Look for this game to be a very high scoring game, as I don’t see the Nets defensive woes improving versus this Clippers team. Meaning the Nets will most likely have to win this game on the offensive end alone.
Brooklyn vs Raptors 2/5
After starting the season slowly, the Raptors have been picking it up recently. As they only find themselves 1 spot out of the playoffs. Nonetheless, this is a game the Nets must win considering their two other matchups this week. While the Raptors are a much better team than their record shows, they have really been struggling offensively this season. This is a game where the Nets should look to fix some of their defensive issues. Similar to last week’s game versus the Heat. I expect this game to be competitive in the first three quarters only for the Nets to pull away in the 4th due to their offensive star power.
Brooklyn vs 76ers 2/6
In another highly anticipated matchup on the 2nd night of a back to back, the Nets face the Philadelphia 76ers. The top seed in the eastern conference. This game will be a fantastic test for the Nets, as I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the two teams we see in the Conference Championship. Brooklyn will have their hands full trying to defend MVP candidate Joel Embiid, one of the most physically dominating players in the NBA. In no world are the Nets going to be able to stop Embiid, especially with Deandre Jordan as the starting center. I expect this to be a fairly even matchup with the game coming down to the wire. The difference will be whose bench unit will step up, as both teams’ 2nd unit has struggled this year.
This is probably the most important week for Brooklyn so far this season. They face 2 championship contending teams, and another team that is hungry and starting to find its groove. The Nets will be in the national spotlight all week. And will need to bring their A game, which includes putting in more effort on the defensive end. If they can’t do that, well, we may be in for some ugly outcomes.