The Nets travel to Dallas for a tough road test | Tech US News

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The Brooklyn Nets force me to talk about basketball. Honest-to-God basketball, in a season where that seemed impossible barring a complete detonation of the roster. We’re not out of the woods yet, but the vibes are… nice, right now? Of course, it’s a textbook case of league-defining review bias in the NBA, which is a ton of ebb and flow over 82 games. However, there’s no denying that the weekend’s wins over the Wizards and Hornets (admittedly meh competition) were full of fun, solid basketball.

Think about it too long and the questions are overwhelming. Udoka? Kyrie? How long can these moments of happiness last? At this point, it’s best to tune in for three hours, every other night or so, and stay off social media the rest of the time.

Saturday’s win in Charlotte featured a frenzied 12-point comeback in the final seven minutes of the game, as well as standout performances from rookies who have become usual suspects. Cam Thomas, in his second batch of extended minutes this season, had 21 points and four assists, including 11 trips to the line (making 10 of them). above, but explored further this weekend, hence the ten assists – and a +69 rating – in two games. His decisions still seem predetermined, rather than purely reactive, but when that predetermination is a pass, Thomas is showing more and more artistry and patience in delivering the ball to the intended target.

Yuta Watanabe, meanwhile, has become Brooklyn’s golden child this season, surpassing everyone’s wildest expectations. The Nets are outscoring opponents by 3.7 points/100 with Watanabe on the floor (67th percentile). And using an even smaller but more exciting sample that certainly matches the eye test, the Nets are +12.1/100 with the Japanese native at No. 5 (Stats from Cleaning the Glass).

One of the reasons those lineups are working is because Watanabe has shown proficiency triggering the offense after setting screens for Kevin Durant:

Of course, his physical presence and his defensive activity were strong. But Watanabe-at-the-5 lineups are an attractive option to close out games right now because of plays like the ones above (and the shootout). He has some bite to his decision-making when playing 4-on-3, certainly more so than Nic Claxton.

And it’s not just Watanabe that Brooklyn has been using to draft KD. It’s Joe Harris, who really perfected the art of pick-and-popping with James Harden, as well as Royce O’Neale. This was a great move to secure a comeback against Charlotte:

The potato is hot right now for Brooklyn, and since teams will surely continue to double Durant, it should stay that way. Suspending Kyrie Irving certainly doesn’t raise the team’s ceiling, but it does simplify things a bit, speeding them up. The Nets aren’t leaning on lineups that I’m sure they anticipated leaning on heading into the season. But guys like Watanabe, Thomas and even Edmund Sumner do

  • to demonstrate their status as NBA-caliber players;
  • the means to read and react when someone folds.

That was a recipe for a successful attack against Washington and Charlotte, and the defense benefited from a cut of kinetic energy from the same cloth.

But while all of that was fine last weekend, Brooklyn faces a different challenge on Monday: the Dallas Mavericks.

Where to follow the game

YES Network and the YES app will have the broadcast, while WFAN-FM has the radio call for Nets fans. It’s an afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:45 PM ET from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

injuries

Kyrie Irving remains suspended; for how long, who really knows? And of course, TJ Warren is still rehabbing that foot. It should be reassessed this month, but it is not known when in November it will take place. But Ben Simmons became questionable after missing the previous four games with a sore left knee. Since he was in Brooklyn on Saturday, he must have flown to Dallas. No? Progress, I guess! Even more progress is that, for the first time all season, Seth Curry is completely off the injury report, not even questionable! No news is good news.

On the Dallas side, they will miss a touch of Europe as both Davis “the Latvian Laser” Bertans (knee) and Frank “Frankie Smokes” Ntilikina (ankle) are out for Monday’s contest.

The Nets need some better nicknames.

the game

Usually “The Game” and “Player to Watch” are separate sections, but not today. Luka Doncic is currently knocking on the door to the highest single-season usage rate in NBA history, his current mark of 39.2% a close cry from Russell Westbrook’s 41.5% in 2016-’17.

There is no way to stop the Dallas offense that Luka leads, which leads the league in offensive rating. There isn’t a defense on the ball screen to keep Luka Magic from disintegrating into dust, processing each counter in his mind at the speed of passing the chips. The continuous one-on-one defense is asking for a 40 ball from Doncic. It would be hard to argue that he isn’t the best offensive player in the world, right now. He’s certainly not significantly worse than Steph Curry or Nikola Jokic, the other two true contenders for that title (sorry, KD!).

But Brooklyn needs to do better than last time, in the last game they played before the organization seemingly began to fail.

Matt Brooks made a great video about the shortcomings of the ball screen defense that ultimately sank Brooklyn in their October contest against the Mavericks, but even a trailer of that video is enough to show you that, in their rush to shut down the gear. fire that is Luka Doncic, simple pick-and-pops destroyed his integrity.

Jacque Vaughn talked about raising the level of frenzy and unpredictability on defense this weekend. Brooklyn did just that, albeit against two teams that could combine to start ten guys and not score as often as Dallas. The Nets should still dance with whoever brought them in.

I would predict they play a more aggressive coverage against Doncic and the Mavericks that involves constantly sending the ball to two guys as well, which takes it out of Luka’s hands. I started this article by highlighting how Brooklyn got good offense when Charlotte doubled Durant, but so be it. This is a risk you have to take. Luka’s passing and decision-making make him a different animal. Trust the chaos the players are playing with right now and force Dorian Finney-Smith or Maxi Kleber to decide the fate of Dallas possessions. Just be prepared to stir. Brooklyn was more than ready last weekend.

From the Vault

It’s always a good time to remember Keith Van Horn, who you may not remember ended his career as a Dallas Maverick long before Jason Kidd did. (What? No, he certainly didn’t play for the Knicks after that.)

Anyway, here’s Van Horn driving the ball from the top of the key and posterizing Etan Thomas!

He practically jumped from the dotted line! He shot 36% on three attempts from deep per game, throughout his career. That play and those stats alone make you wonder about Van Horn as a modern NBA player. Maybe a beefed-up Grant Williams? Although shooting 84% from the line, career-wise, might suggest even more shooting potential than that.

Further reading: Mavs Moneyball



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