Nets look lost against Wade-less Heat


The Nets lost their fourth game in a row, this time against Miami in a 95-83 loss. Coming into the game the Nets looked to bounce back at home after a 3 game road skid. With the Heat also losing three in a row entering tonight, both teams needed a win badly.  Brooklyn looked like they caught a break, with Dwyane Wade being out for a third straight game because of a strained hamstring, Luol Deng out with a sprained wrist and Josh McRoberts out with a toe blister.

Mario Chalmers started in place for the injured Wade and proceed to do his best Wade impression, constantly attacking the basket and blowing past Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack on more than one occasion during the game.  With that aggressive mindset, Chalmers finished with 22 points, half of them from the line.  Including Chalmers, five Miami players finished in with double-digit scoring numbers. Despite not having 3 key starters alongside him and struggling with foul trouble all game, Chris Bosh finished strong, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds.  The combination of Bosh and Chalmers was key down the stretch where the latter kicked out a pass to Bosh for a three-pointer, putting the Heat up 11 with 1 minute and 23 seconds left and a nail in the coffin of Brooklyn.

The Nets ended the half up five after a Bojan Bogdanovic and two free throws by Bosh. Bogdanovic was the one of the few bright spots for Brooklyn night ending the game with 22 points and 4 for 5 from beyond the arc.  However, the Heat started the 3rd on a 9 to 2 run and Bogdanovic’s hot night couldn’t keep them in it.  Yet despite being down 7 with 8:24 to go in the game, the Nets had an opportunity to make a push for the lead when Chris Bosh was charged with his 5th foul. The Nets got within 4, but were unable to pull any closer. Bosh then returned with 3:52 remaining to combine with Chalmers to seal the victory.

Despite all the attention on ball movement on offense, the Nets defense has become a cause for concern for Brooklyn. They’ve looked a step slow on rotations and players have been able to penetrate at will.  Communication on the court was once again lacking as Miami had multiple open shots and the Nets had trouble closing out on players as they shot from the arc. Brooklyn’s defensive deficiencies can be summed up in one play as Shabazz Napier put Deron Williams in the spin cycle as Williams lost the rookie in what looks like a pick by his own teammate, Kevin Garnett.

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The biggest concern for the Nets may not even be the loss to the Heat. The biggest concern for Brooklyn may be off the court.  After the game Lionel Hollins refused to answer a question about Brook Lopez’s play, stating: “I don’t want to talk about Brook right now. It’s not the right time” (Lopez shot 2 from 8 from the field).  That comment along with Joe Johnson’s proclamation of team selfishness and Deron Williams’ stating that the Brooklyn bench wasn’t effective in running the offense could be the beginning of turmoil in the locker room.

Since Johnson’s comments of selfishness, he’s shot less than 42% from the field, including 2 of 9 tonight.  Williams has been just as bad, barely shooting 42% and only averaging 6.4 assists against 2.8 turnovers. With both players making a combine $43 million and Brook Lopez looking like he’s still not the same after missing most of the last 2 seasons, Brooklyn’s top guns are going to have to begin producing in order for the Nets to get back to winning and back up the comments both have made during their losing streak.

Brooklyn next hosts Milwaukee on Wednesday as they face former coach Jason Kidd and try to regroup against a young Bucks squad.