The Brooklyn Nets have to learn to win down the stretch
Last season, Brooklyn lost a lot of games in the closing minutes of games. The Nets struggled to pull away late in games and cracked under pressure a lot last season.
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Brooklyn was 12-15 in games decided by five points or less last season and was just 1-5 in overtime games. In all, 30 of the Nets’ 54 losses last season were by 10 points or less.
The Nets will have to battle for the eighth seed this season as the bottom half of the Eastern Conference is building with talent. If the Nets keep choking late in games, this will play a huge role late in the season.
When Brooklyn lost in close games, it was due to the play on both ends of the floor. On the offensive end, the Nets would commonly rush shots or throw up messy shots. If Brooklyn can take good shots and not rush possessions, they will have a better chance of winning.
An argument can be made that the Nets were on the short end of the stick when it came to late-game foul calls but there is nothing that can be done. Spencer Dinwiddie, who was an NBA leader in missed foul calls, publicly criticized the NBA refs over this issue.
On the defensive end, Brooklyn needs to lock down their frontcourt. Opposing teams targeted the Nets’ frontcourt last season in late-game situations. When opposing teams targeted down low late in the game, it would lead to a foul call or a go-ahead basket.
If Brooklyn can tighten up that frontcourt late in the game, it can make a big difference.