The Next Four Games are Key to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2017-18 season


The NBA season is just about a month in and the Brooklyn Nets are 5-8. Brooklyn is tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the sixth-worst record in the league. When is it time to hit the panic button?

Thirteen games into the 2017-18 season and it’s not the right time for the Brooklyn Nets to hit the panic button, even though the defense is bad.

That time may be in the near future but it’s not the right move on Nov. 13.

Kenny Atkinson and company suffered a 114-106 loss Saturday to Utah. It was the seventh time in eight losses where the Nets allowed 112 points or more.

So, what went wrong after the Nets started 2-1?

Brooklyn’s first two losses were by an average of 6.5 points. The Nets had chances against both Indiana and Orlando and could’ve started the season 5-0. But the defense fell apart late.

The Nets then won 112-107 over Cleveland and that early season swagger was still intact.

But then four straight losses happened.

And now the Nets are on the back-to-back win and losses train.

Brooklyn is fourth in scoring and tied for third in clutch wins. Clutch wins are measured in the final quarter, usually with less than five minutes to play where neither team is ahead by more than five points.

Four of Brooklyn’s five wins have come by six points or less.

Scoring isn’t the problem and if and when the changes need to come for Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks, trading away a scorer for a defender wouldn’t be the worst mistake.

Brooklyn is second in bench minutes per game and bench points per game.

The Nets are one of a few teams in the league that have at least five players that average in double-figures.

And three players including Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Tyler Zeller all average between 9.8 and 9.0 points per game.

Scoring isn’t the problem. You know that and so do the Nets.

Defending is and as dumb as it may sound, confidence is too.

For so long the Nets have been a poor team. The media and the fans thrashing the team saying they aren’t that good and they continue to label them as a rebuilding team.

But the time is now. The time for an NBA team to win should be right now all the time. That’s what the mentality should be.

This is a crucial time for Brooklyn.

They are 12th in the Eastern Conference. With games against Boston, Golden State and Cleveland upcoming in their next four games, Brooklyn’s season is on the line.

Lose all three of those games and they fall six games below .500.

How do you win games? Score more points than the other team?

Brooklyn can keep. But defense wins championships, and the Nets need to find some.