Brooklyn Nets: 3 takeaways from a tough loss against Portland

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets D’Angelo Russell (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets suffered a tough defeat at home, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers 113-99. 

The Brooklyn Nets‘ first game after the All-Star break went about as poorly as it could have gone.

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Faced up against a tough Portland Trail Blazers team that has the fourth-best record in the rugged Western Conference, the Nets needed a statement victory on their home floor. Their last meaningful victory was all the way back on Feb. 4 when the team defeated the Denver Nuggets.

Knocking off Portland, a team that has advanced to the playoffs in every season since 2014, would have given the Nets some huge bragging rights going forward.

Unfortunately, the young group of Brooklynites never really got going. The team made only seven of their 36 total 3s; a stat line sharing an eerie resemblance to their 5-for-42 clinker against the Milwaukee Bucks.

To Portland’s credit, their 16th-ranked defense was swarming. They ran Brooklyn’s 3-point shooters off the arc on multiple occasions.

In fact, the only player who seemed to really dial in from deep was Allen Crabbe; he canned nearly half (three) of Brooklyn’s 3-pointers. (Crabbe finished with 17 points on the night on 13shots).

Crabbe wasn’t the only ex-Blazer who went off against his former employer. Shabazz Napier flashed his playmaking chops (a welcomed sight to see), dishing out 10 assists off the bench.

Ed Davis was immense against his squad from last year. Davis finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds in only 21 minutes of play. His excellent performance earned him the Nothin’ But Nets player of the game.

D’Angelo Russell struggled mightily from the field. D-Lo finished with 14 points on an ugly 4-of-16 shooting line. Midway through the fourth quarter, it looked like Russell was about to get going; he hit one of his trademarked high-arching 3s in the face of the staunch Portland defense.

However, in the next possession, D-Lo launched an ill-advised 3-pointer that was heavily contested by multiple Portland defenders. (He also took it very early in the shot clock). It missed, badly.

Sadly, that second possession was the better summary of his night.

This was the second straight game that Russell struggled with his shot selection during regulation. He will have an excellent opportunity for redemption on Saturday. The Nets head to Charlotte to joust with another playoff hopeful, the Hornets.

With this loss, the Nets have dropped to 30-30 on the season. They are now 9-12 against Western Conference teams.