Here’s the million-dollar question — why do the Brooklyn Nets play so poorly at home? After yet another embarrassing outing at Barclays Center on Friday night, the Nets fell to the Bucks, 121-109. The team’s now 10-10 in games played in Brooklyn.
The Nets allowed for the Clippers to make a comeback last weekend at home and then allowed Ja Morant and the Grizzlies to put on a clinic last Monday. The team was able to redeem themselves on the road in Indiana, but that was in large part due to Kyrie Irving’s return to the lineup.
Unless Irving decides to get the COVID-19 vaccine or New York City changes the local mandate, he’s going to continue to watch his teammates play in Brooklyn from the comfort of his home.
However, the Nets can’t rely on Irving, meaning that they’re going to have to find a way to win the games that they play in Brooklyn. A loss is a loss regardless, but it’s one thing to lose a game by a close margin than to be absolutely annihilated, which is what Giannis Antetokounmpo (31 points) and Milwaukee did to the Nets.
The Bucks were without coach Mike Budenholzer, Jrue Holiday, Pat Connaughton, George Hill, and Grayson Allen, who are all in the health and safety protocols. But that didn’t matter.
The Brooklyn Nets get trounced by the Bucks at Barclays Center.
Brooklyn’s lost five straight games at home. Five. That’s not acceptable.
Steve Nash and the players need to take a step back and figure out why they play so poorly in Barclays. Remember, there is such thing as home-court advantage, but not for the Nets, who are 14-3 on the road.
But, what can be done? Why is it that when Brooklyn plays on its court, the team comes out flat and looks far different than the squad that was named the league’s preseason title favorites?
For starters, James Harden’s going to have to do more than he has been. He didn’t score at all in the first quarter, and finished with 16 points and shot 6-of-15 from the floor and 1-of-3 from the 3-point line. He added nine rebounds and seven assists but turned the ball over five times.
Kevin Durant didn’t have his best game but still led the Nets with 29 points. He shot 10-of-19 from the field, along with nine rebounds and seven assists.
All in all, the Nets shot 45.7% from the floor and an abysmal 22.% from the 3-point line. Brooklyn was outplayed by Milwaukee on both ends of the court.
It doesn’t help that Nash struggles to put the right five players out on the floor. Three of the team’s top defensive players – James Johnson, Bruce Brown, and DeAndre’ Bembry- all played in 13 minutes or less.
The Nets have far too much talent to have gone 1-4 in their past five games. Looking ahead, they have far too much talent to not make a deep playoff run, but to make it to that point, something’s going to have to change.