Brooklyn Nets: Player grades from yet another late fold against Jazz

Brooklyn Nets. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets were hoping to gain some momentum during a stretch in which they played 7 of 8 at home, but the Nets have now lost 5 straight at Barclays after Wednesday’s loss to the Utah Jazz.

The Brooklyn Nets came into this stretch of games to end November and enter December with high hopes. They would play seven of eight games at home and hoped to pick up some wins and get back into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.

Instead, the Nets (8-14) have flopped. Brooklyn has dropped the first three games at home during this key stretch and has lost five straight overall at Barclays Center after Wednesday night’s disheartening 101-91 loss to the Utah Jazz.

Only the ineptitude of the rest of the fringe playoff teams in the East is allowing the Nets to remain at least in the conversation for one of the final spots. Brooklyn, in 10th place in the conference, trails eighth-place Orlando by two games despite losing four straight.

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That’s because the Magic have dropped their last two. The Washington Wizards — who the Nets visit on Saturday — are ninth in the East, a half-game ahead of Brooklyn. The Miami Heat at 7-13 are in a virtual tie with the Nets.

Behind them are the teams that are already essentially out of contention without major turnarounds, including the New York Knicks (7-16), Chicago Bulls (5-17), Atlanta Hawks (5-17) and Cleveland Cavaliers (4-16).

But Brooklyn is 2-6 since Caris LeVert‘s injury, 2-7 if you count the loss at Minnesota in which LeVert left just before halftime.

Offensively, the loss to the Jazz was the Nets’ worst performance of the season. They scored a season-low 91 points on season-worst 34.9 percent shooting (30-for-86).

Brooklyn also posted a season-low 11 assists — six fewer than their previous low — on their 30 makes, a 36.7 percent rate. The ball stagnated, the offense stalled and the Nets folded in the fourth quarter after leading by eight after three periods.

The Nets were just 2-for-17 with seven turnovers in the final 12 minutes and were outscored 31-13. It’s worth noting that Brooklyn’s two least-productive quarters of the season came Wednesday night — a 16-point first quarter was quickly followed by that 13-point disaster in the fourth.

Coach Kenny Atkinson held to his preference to go 10 deep in the rotation, with Kenneth Faried picking up his 14th DNP-CD of the season in 21 games active with the club. Brooklyn did recall rookies Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs from the Long Island Nets before Thursday’s game.

For Musa, it was his eighth DNP-CD in 14 games active. For Kurucs, it was his eighth in 15 games on the active list. Given that the season is on the brink of getting away from the Nets and given how well Kurucs played when given chances earlier this season … yeah, just sayin’.

Meanwhile, injured Treveon Graham and LeVert remained inactive and two-way contract players Theo Pinson and Alan Williams remained in the NBA G League (although both were on the bench in street clothes Wednesday night).

Here are the player grades from the loss to the Jazz.