After the Brooklyn Nets escaped a near-catastrophic offseason by the skin of their teeth, last night’s opener should have been a warm embrace for their fans. After all, it featured all three of the team’s big guns, which has been something tough to come by over the past few years.
Instead, it was a swift kick to the head.
The New Orleans Pelicans cracked the Nets like an egg, beating Brooklyn on their home floor 130-108. While the Nets made a surge as halftime approached, the Pels stayed in the driver’s seat from start to finish, resulting in an effort for Brooklyn that can only be described as embarrassing.
New Orleans got it done by controlling the glass and holding it with an iron fist. They dominated the Nets 61-39 on the boards, successfully transferring Brooklyn’s most obvious issue from last year into this new one. During the onslaught, the Pelicans reeled in 21 boards on the offensive glass. That resulted in 36 second-chance points — which even exceeded the margin of victory.
The Nets also suffered from some typical game one blunders, turning over the rock 16 times and missing a few too many open looks. Brooklyn shot a mediocre 44.9 percent from the field and an ugly 30.3 percent from downtown.
Given everything this team went through last season and the aforementioned offseason, the Nets have no choice but to rebound, both literally and figuratively going forward. In doing so, let’s address the good and the bad from this less desirable start to the 2022-23 campaign.