The disappointments continued on Monday as the Brooklyn Nets fell to Portland, 114-108. Although Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for 50 points against the Trail Blazers, it wasn’t enough as Brooklyn has now lost five of its last seven games. The Nets are 25-14 and are nearly halfway through the regular season, so why do Steve Nash’s rotations change on a nightly basis?
Nash was presented with a unique challenge at the beginning of the year. As a coach, he had to do his best to try to find a way to supplement the 26.9 points per game that Irving averaged last year. As we all now know, it’s impossible to make up for the loss of a player like Irving, so because of that, we cut Nash some slack with his rotations.
Except now, it’s already mid-January, and Nash is still experimenting with lineups. He’s still working through a challenge in regards to Irving’s part-time role, but Nash’s inconsistency goes beyond that.
And unfortunately, it seems like Nash is going to continue to alter Brooklyn’s rotations for what could end up being the remainder of the year.
Steve Nash is still “experimenting” with rotations for the Brooklyn Nets.
Let’s take a look back at the past week.
In a shocking move last Wednesday, Nash started two-way rookie David Duke Jr. alongside Durant, Irving, James Harden, and Nic Claxton.
The 22-year-old has started in the Nets’ past four games, and while we believe in his future with the team, it doesn’t make the most sense for him to be starting right now.
Brooklyn needs scorers, especially in the games that are played in Brooklyn without Irving, and Duke Jr. has scored a combined 20 points in 69 minutes since Jan. 5.
In the game against the Pacers, rookie Cam Thomas didn’t play at all. Then, on Friday in a 121-209 loss to the Bucks, Thomas played in 28 minutes and scored 14 points (6-of-12). In Sunday’s overtime win, he saved the day for the Nets with his go-ahead floater in overtime with 1.4 seconds remaining. Thomas finished with 11 points in 30 minutes.
In Monday’s loss to Portland, Thomas scored 21 points (8-of-12) in 26 minutes. And although Thomas has played a large role for Brooklyn in its past two games, knowing Nash, there’s a chance that the rookie won’t see a lot of playing time against Chicago on Wednesday.
That’s how unpredictable things have been with Nash at the helm.
Oh, and remember how the Nets never led in last Friday’s game against the Bucks? And had no answer for Milwaukee’s offense? DeAndre’ Bembry, one of Brooklyn’s best defenders, only played in eight minutes of that game after logging 20 minutes against Indiana two nights before, when he scored 12 points (5-of-5) and pulled down five rebounds.
And what did Nash have to say about Bembry’s performance then?
As Nash said, Bembry “changed the game” for the Nets, who outscored the Pacers by 24 points in his 20 minutes. So it makes perfect sense why he only saw the court for eight minutes against the Bucks, right?
Especially given the rut that Brooklyn’s in, the team needs something that at least resembles stability, and constantly moving pieces in and out of the lineup hasn’t helped the matter. We’re not sure what Nash’s end game is, but it doesn’t look like it’s an NBA title.