The Brooklyn Nets looked like a new team in Monday night’s 109-85 win over the Kings. Seth Curry and Andre Drummond made their debuts with the Nets while Ben Simmons cheered on his team from the sidelines.
Before Monday, Brooklyn hadn’t won a game since Jan. 21. The Nets were in the midst of an 11-game losing streak that began to feel as if it weren’t going to end but then reinforcements arrived.
Ironically, Curry and Drummond’s first game came against Sacramento, the team that James Harden played against in his final game with Brooklyn. However, this time, Brooklyn’s new stars delivered.
While there was still talk about a potential Nets-Sixers trade, it was rumored that there would be a Harden-Simmons swap. Sean Marks pushed to add players like Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle alongside Simmons but in the end, it was Curry and Drummond who made the short journey to Brooklyn with him.
And what a pleasant surprise it’s been.
Curry, Drummond shine in Brooklyn Nets debut while Ben Simmons looks on.
Over the past month, the Nets have been without both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in games played at home. It’s been exceptionally painful to watch Brooklyn play in Barclays Center, which is why it felt so odd to watch Curry hit open shots.
The guard led the Nets with 23 points (10-of-18), seven rebounds, and five assists. Brooklyn has suffered without shooter Joe Harris but Curry stepped in and knocked down shots to give the team the energy that’s been missing on the offensive end.
Drummond made his way into the starting lineup alongside Curry and finished with 11 points (4-of-7), nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block. His defense in the post was huge in what turned out to be one of the Nets’ best defensive games of the season.
From the outside looking in, it was bizarre to see Brooklyn play four quarters of good basketball.
After all, it was only 13 days ago when the Nets came up short to a Kings team that was without three of the players that started on Monday (De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Justin Holiday).
Maybe it was because Harden’s effort in his final few games with the team was uninspiring (subscription required) but it was evident that Brooklyn’s energy has shifted.
Bruce Brown, who finished with 19 points (8-of-12), six rebounds, and six assists, echoed that sentiment after the game.
We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves but Nets fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when the final buzzer sounded and the scoreboard displayed a 24-point win.
Let’s not forget that Simmons, Durant, Irving, Harris, and Nic Claxton didn’t play. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, there isn’t a team that can stop that lineup when they’re healthy. Hey, it’s going to be hard enough to stop the team that showed up on Monday night.
It feels good to confidently say (again) that the future in Brooklyn looks bright.