2. Brooklyn had no answers for Bagley
For what feels like the 1 millionth game in a row, Brooklyn’s opponent absolutely feasted on the Nets’ bigs.
Marvin Bagley III looked like a five-time All-Star while being defended by Brooklyn’s porous defense. The rookie big man put up 28 points on an asinine 12-of-15 shooting line and he also recorded seven boards.
Every single guy that Brooklyn threw at Bagley looked entirely helpless.
With top-end speed for a guy his size, Bagley was able to simply run around guys like Ed Davis or even Jarrett Allen. If his man was able to stay with him, Bagley had the length and hand-eye coordination to execute beautiful diving hook-shots or spinning layups.
With size, speed and sharp low-post skills at his disposal, Bagley put on a clinic against Brooklyn.
This is now a recurring problem for the Nets. Opposing centers are always too big or too fast to be guarded by Brooklyn’s bigs. Soon, Brooklyn’s brain trust may need to look deep within itself to find the answers to this issue.
Perhaps the solution to this problem will be adding a stronger, more versatile big man this offseason. Too many times have the Nets let specific players (like Hassan Whiteside or Rudy Gobert) go off at will.
Lord knows it probably won’t happen, but a guy like Al Horford would absolutely be worth the look should become available. As an excellent low-post defender who can reasonably defend guys like Joel Embiid, Horford would be the perfect anchor to this Brooklyn defense.
Not to mention, he’s more than capable of stepping out to the 3 — both on defense and on offense.
In all honesty, Horford is probably one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He’s secretly been the best player on two Eastern Conference finalists (Atlanta and Boston).
Although Bagley was undeniably impressive, his performance was more of the same; it conformed to the rule of big returns for big players against the Nets.