The Brooklyn Nets snapped their 11-game losing streak on Monday night to clear their slate before making the short trek to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. The energy shift was evident and it appeared as if the Nets had finally turned a corner but before the game against the Knicks had even started, Steve Nash prohibited any further progress.
Nash started Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Bruce Brown, James Johnson, and Andre Drummond. The only difference between that lineup and the one from Monday is Johnson, who replaced rookie Kessler Edwards.
Edwards has hit a wall over the past couple of weeks so we agree with removing him from the starting rotation, but to add Johnson in his place? Presumably, Nash went with Johnson because of his ball-handling abilities. However, that’s about the only thing that the forward has going for him.
Yes, Nash’s rotations are at a disadvantage due to Kyrie Irving’s part-time status. The coach is now trying to integrate two (and soon to be three) new players into the lineup. Still, the decisions that he makes are questionable and it’s too far into the regular season to be running into lineup issues.
The downfall of the Brooklyn Nets will be Steve Nash, not team chemistry.
There’s been a lot of debate over the past six days about Brooklyn’s new-look lineup. People are questioning if the team can form some type of chemistry before the playoffs begin in mid-April.
Those takes are warranted, although genuinely it feels like at this point, Nash is going to be the downfall of the Nets.
The Nets found themselves down by double-digits after a few minutes of play against the Knicks and the first person off the bench was LaMarcus Aldridge. He replaced Drummond, who still isn’t accustomed to being a starter again after playing behind Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. That move made sense.
Nash then proceeded to substitute Jevon Carter into the game for Patty Mills.
At the end of the first half, Johnson and Carter combined for a total of eight points and four turnovers.
As if that’s not bad enough, Brooklyn’s had spacing woes all year long yet Nash decided to display a lineup of Aldridge, Drummond, and Blake Griffin on the floor together. There isn’t much that you can do with that.
Nash’s rotations, the lack of offensive game plan, and the fact that New York hit 13 3-pointers in the first half were why Brooklyn was down 65-44 at the half.
The Nets get out coached on a nightly basis and it’s only going to become more of a problem once the playoffs begin. Thank goodness for Kevin Durant, right?