Brooklyn Nets: 3 Reasons BK struggles against bad NBA teams

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 20: Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 20: Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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When Detroit Pistons guard Cory Joseph’s layup attempt rolled off the rim, narrowly securing the Nets’ 113-111 road win Friday night, Brooklyn avoided its sixteenth loss of the year.

In every NBA season, top teams may struggle against underperforming opponents, but it’s been especially obvious for Brooklyn repeatedly this season.

The Nets have struggled versus weaker squads such as Cleveland, Washington, and Orlando, and Brooklyn’s lack of steady play against non-contending franchises is a troubling trend.

Although the Nets are currently 19-5 when playing above .500 teams, Brooklyn is only 12-10 against below .500 opponents. Some Nets fans worry this issue could ruin the team’s goal of winning this season’s NBA championship.

Here are three reasons why Brooklyn struggles against bad NBA teams.

Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

3. Nets’ Inconsistent Lineups

The Nets led the NBA with 23 different starting lineups through 46 games. Guard Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a season-ending right knee (ACL) injury against Charlotte on Dec. 27, 2020. Kevin Durant has missed 25 games so far with a strained left hamstring. Kyrie Irving has been absent for 15 contests. The seven-time All-Star has suffered from back, groin, and finger injuries. Irving was away from the team for seven games because of an unexcused absence, and the NBA issued a $50,000 fine against Irving for violating its COVID-19 protocol policy.

Irving will be returning on March 29 vs. Minnesota (we believe) from an excused three-game hiatus due to personal family matters. Other injuries to Nets rotational players Landry Shamet, Jeff Green, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot have slowed the team’s progress as well.

All told, nearly half of the roster has missed some playing time for Brooklyn. The lack of consistent player rotations and in-game lineups have hurt the Nets’ ability to win games against lower-level competition.