Not every game is perfect. In fact, tonight was ugly and certainly wasn’t the best performance for the Brooklyn Nets. But it didn’t have to be. Especially against the 11-35 Minnesota Timberwolves. Kyrie Irving returned after missing the last 3 games and didn’t miss a beat. James Harden had another MVP like performance, but the rest of the team did not show up. Let’s dive into how the Nets won this game but why it was so close.
Superstars Played like Superstars
James Harden has been on a tear as of late and tonight was no exception. Harden had 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists, constantly finding his own shot and creating opportunities for his teammates. He even shot 50% from behind the arc, something he has struggled with this season. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving showed no rust tonight, scoring 15 points in the first quarter alone to finish with 27. On the other side, Karl Anthony Towns put the T-Wolves on his back, scoring 31 points and showing off his range from deep. In the end, though, the Nets superstars were able to outlast Towns in what was an ugly performance for both teams.
Nets Role Players
Everyone besides Harden and Irving, the role players, did not come ready to play tonight. Joe Harris had an ugly night, only scoring 7 points and making only one 3. Blake Griffin and Tyler Johnson hardly added anything and TLC looked completely lost out there. Bruce Brown did his best to make up for the other role players but it was hardly enough.
How much longer will DeAndre Jordan start? How much longer will he keep getting minutes? We are at a point where it ugly and hard to watch Jordan out there knowing Claxton is on the bench and is a much better option. Jordan offers nothing on the defensive end while Claxton has proven to be more than capable at switching onto guards and forcing them into bad shots. Jordan starting off alright but stayed in the game far too long and we didn’t see Claxton until the 2nd quarter. DJ also got the start in the 2nd half and again stayed in far too long, allowing the T-Wolves to get back in the game.
Hopefully, with the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan will stay on the bench where he belongs.
This may sound cliche, but it’s true. When the Nets play far inferior opponents they tend to play down to their level and not give much effort resulting in ugly showing. This could clearly be seen during the final minutes of this game when the Nets struggled to inbound the ball and continuously turned it over. We have seen this happen time and time again. But fortunately, the Nets were able to get a stop on the defensive end and hit the free throws to clinch the game. While it was an ugly performance, it looks the same in the win column, and the Nets inch closer to the 1 seed. Just hope that the Nets don’t close out games like this in the playoffs, or they could be in some serious trouble.