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 Jusuf Nurkic. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2. Brooklyn had no answer for Portland’s big man rotation

Brooklyn Nets’ fans were understandably devastated after the loss at home.

For the first time since early December, there was a public outcry against coach Kenny Atkinson’s rotations. Some wanted Rodions Kurucs in the game. Others wanted Rondae Hollis-Jefferson out of the game. There were some who yearned for a longer look at Jared Dudley.

But one thing seemed to hold consistent; no one was happy.

Here’s the thing; there should be no blame put on any member on Brooklyn’s coaching staff or roster.

Sometimes, a team just simply runs into a bad matchup. This was certainly the case against Portland.

The Trail Blazers toyed with the Nets all night. With only one member of their rotation above the height of 6-foot-10, the Nets are pretty undersized. (That one player is Jarrett Allen, measuring in at 6-foot-11. But more on him in a second …).

Portland certainly took advantage of this, outscoring the Nets in the paint 66-50. The Blazers also controlled the boards, ripping down 60 rebounds to the Nets’ 49.

It’s no coincidence that two of Portland’s top three scorers in the ballgame were centers.

Jusuf Nurkic was at the height of his powers. His ballerina-like footwork was on full display, as he pirouetted around Jarrett Allen on multiple occasions. Nurkic’s dominance down low forced Allen into eventually fouling out with two minutes left in the fourth.

Nurkic finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

Enes Kanter continued his year-long destruction against the Nets. In his first game wearing the Portland white-and-red jerseys, Kanter was outstanding. The former Knick scored 18 points, grabbed nine boards and missed only one of his nine shots.

Best of all; Kanter did all of this in just 20 minutes.

For the season, Kanter is now averaging 21.3 points and 12 rebounds per game on 69.8 percent shooting against Brooklyn.

Kanter, who was very available after the trade deadline as a buyout candidate, appears to be a massive upgrade for Portland. Portland can now boast 48 minutes of non-stop pressure on the boards. Not to mention, Kanter is a steady talent (unlike, say, second-year big Zach Collins)