3. For first time in awhile, Nets come in off a klunker
There’s no getting around this one — the Brooklyn Nets played badly in their loss to the Charlotte Hornets Friday night.
Brooklyn shot 39.8 percent, their worst mark since hitting 39.4 percent in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 3. The Nets hit just 14.8 percent from 3-point land, their worst mark of the season.
Their 15-14 assist-to-turnover ratio was their worst since having 19-17 in a Dec. 1 loss to the Washington Wizards. Their 87 points was a season low.
D’Angelo Russell carried the offense, such as it was, with 33 points on 13-of-24 shooting. The rest of the club shot 20-for-59.
Spencer Dinwiddie’s run of 29 straight games off the bench with at least 10 points went down in spectacular flames on a night when the sixth man was 1-for-7 and scored only three points, a season-low.
Brooklyn had won nine of its previous 10 games, playing at the team’s highest level in a long time, but Friday night was one of those bad games that will pop up over the grind of an 82-game season.
Offensively, three things went wrong:
- The Nets didn’t move well without the ball and thus did not move the ball well.
- The Nets missed a lot of open looks.
- The offensive flow was hampered — as was Charlotte’s — by an officiating crew that deemed a ton of screens as illegal.
Over the 10 games before Friday, Brooklyn had averaged 117.6 points per game and surrendered just 113 a night while shooting 48.8 percent overall and 40.6 percent from 3-point range and averaging 27.1 assists.
The Nets didn’t approach any of those numbers Friday, including the positives of holding Charlotte to just 100 points on 41 percent shooting — opponents had shot 48.7 percent against Brooklyn in the preceding 10 games.
In the absence of any evidence indicating the poor night indicates a downward trend for the Nets, at this point it’s prudent to just write the loss off as one of those 82 games where the bounces just did not go your way.
Consider this: The Toronto Raptors entered play Friday with the NBA’s best record and got worked on the road by the sub-.500 Orlando Magic in a 116-87 loss in which Nikola Vucevic tossed up a 30-point, 20-rebound game for the Magic.
In other words, stuff sometimes happens.