Brooklyn Nets: Analyzing the team’s 8 games leading up to the Playoffs

Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Game 1 – Nets vs Clippers

No team threatens to dish the Nets an inconvenient loss more than the Los Angeles Clippers. Likely still giving the Nets trouble even if they were to carry a fully healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant into the contest, the Clippers poise to stress Nets and their playoff wishes by considerable measures with this matchup.

The Clippers won 44 games this year, leaving only the Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks above them, earning a position that although valuable, oddly enough might not accurately reflect the team’s merit considering their load management strategies during the regular season.

No matter which way you look at it, the Clippers just wield too much firepower for the Nets to handle right now.

Within the coaching department, with Doc Rivers towers over Jacque Vaughn, who quite frankly failed during his only other head coaching stint, stitching together a 58-158 record with the Magic.

Also equipped Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who both frequently find themselves a part of the MVP conversation, the Clippers most likely see this Nets team as just an annoying bug to just swat aside before moving onto the NBA Finals.

Additionally, with Patrick Beverley at the point, almost no team stacks up defensively quite like the Clippers. Beverley’s presence as a defensive stopper especially calls for concern, as a potential tool primed to neutralize arguably Brooklyn’s best player, Spencer Dinwiddie.

When playing against Beverly and the Clippers last year, Dinwiddie shot an abysmal 5-for-32 from the floor, formulating a shooting percentage during those games 29 percentage points below his season average.

The bench situation also tips LA’s way, leading the entire league this year with 51.4 bench points per game. Meanwhile, the Nets average just 35 points per game from their reserves.

Only a gritty, low-scoring game sees the Nets pull off this upset, as expecting Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, or DeAndre Jordan to outplay LA and control the game’s tempo from tipoff to buzzer frankly feels like too much to ask. Although both stand as tall tasks, slowing down Leonard, George and company appears slightly more doable than instead breaking through their defensive wall and turning things into a shootout.

Still more likely taking a swift punch from them, a scenario involving the Nets winning this first game against Los Angeles, unfortunately, feels very unlikely.