The Oklahoma City Thunder came in to Saturday’s game ready to play. The Thunder did not miss a step while the Brooklyn Nets could not put it together. In the end, the Thunder gave Brooklyn their second straight Summer League loss.
The Brooklyn Nets announced shortly before the Saturday’s Las Vegas Summer League game against the Oklahoma City Thunder that neither Caris LeVert nor Jarrett Allen would play. Brooklyn would then leave Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs on the bench.
With all the main guys out for Game 2 of the Summer League, the Brooklyn Nets also tweaked their starting lineup, because Tyler Davis was out with a calf injury, according to NBA TV.
The Nets starting lineup contained speed, scoring, and some big man presence. Overall, their starting lineup was small-ball built.
- Point guard: Semaj Christon
- Shooting guard: Milton Doyle
- Small forward: Theo Pinson
- Power forward: James Webb III
- Center: Kamari Murphy
On the other hand, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s starting lineup was an all-around lineup. Compared to Brooklyn’s starting five, the Thunder had more frontcourt depth, which was a serious X-factor early.
- Point guard: P.J. Dozier
- Shooting guard: Terrance Ferguson
- Small forward: Daniel Hamilton
- Power forward: Rashawn Thomas
- Center: Dakari Johnson
Now, let’s break down Saturday’s game.
The Thunder came into the game ready to play on both ends of the floor. Brooklyn, on the other hand, started off strong, but could not hold it together long as OKC pulled away in the second quarter.
The Thunder kept up their fast-pace offense and solid defense throughout the game. Brooklyn had serious trouble defending in transition, which cost them … huge. In the end, Oklahoma City dominated Brooklyn 90-76, handing Brooklyn their second straight summer league loss.
Let’s break down Brooklyn’s play against the Thunder.
The Brooklyn Nets had it going early in the game. Shooting guard Milton Doyle led the Nets ball movement as Theo Pinson had the hot hand. As things were clicking for Brooklyn, their sloppy play came into the game.
The Nets were very sloppy handling the ball, leading to turnovers and transition points. The Thunder capitalized heavily off the Nets’ sloppy ball-handling, growing their lead before the end of the first half.
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Well, the second half was not the prettiest show. The Nets started scoring decreasing the Thunder’s lead, but Oklahoma City fired right back on the other end. The Nets struggled to go on scoring runs late in the game. The ball movement was OK, but their shooting was not.
The Nets did not have one lead after any quarter (their last lead in the game was when they were up 16-14 with 2:26 left in the first), but tried to come back late. Brooklyn outscored Oklahoma City 22-12, but the Thunder’s lead was too much.
Pinson was Brooklyn’s high scorer with 16 point,s followed by Yuta Watanabe off the bench with 13. Now, let’s break down what cost Brooklyn the game — its defense.
The Brooklyn Nets have been known for their poor defense. That was in full effect in Friday’s loss to the Orlando Magic. Well, not much changed in Saturday’s game against the Thunder.
Brooklyn was not able to control Oklahoma City’s thriving offense throughout the game. The Nets were dominated in the paint and on lane coverage. In the second quarter, Brooklyn’s defense crumbled hard.
Wiz of Awes
Oklahoma City managed to score 30 points in the second quarter while Brooklyn only scored 13. This dominant Oklahoma City offense transfered over into the second half. The Thunder scored 28 in the third while Brooklyn scored 22.
The man coverage on Brooklyn’s end was not well organized. The Thunder did a great job on cutting to the basket, leading to alley-oop dunks or set-up drives. The Nets were out-rebounded 57-38, giving Oklahoma City plenty of opportunities to capitalize.
In the fourth quarter, Brooklyn did a better job defending while their offense started to click. Despite Brooklyn improving on both ends, their defense could not hold Oklahoma City from scoring.
The Nets need to improve their lane coverage and frontcourt lockdown defense in order to pick up a win in the Summer League.
Pinson swatted two shots and collected two steals in the loss. Watanabe was the best defender for Brooklyn, swatting four shots and recording two steals.
The Brooklyn Nets look to bounce back and get their first Summer League win Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 11 p.m. ET. This will be Brooklyn’s last preliminary round game before seeded tournament play begins Wednesday.