The Nets have stayed alive this past week with wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets, but unfortunately fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sacramento Kings as the season is rolling closer towards the end. The Nets currently hold a 39-31 record and are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets have also declined to re-sign Nerlens Noel to a second contract, who had been a member of the Nets on a 10-day contract, leaving an open roster spot. Noel was a temporary replacement for Nicolas Claxton last week who was out with a thumb injury on Mar. 8. He had six rebounds and one steal in 18 minutes against the Milwaukee Bucks on Mar. 9. Noel has not produced much since then due to the return of Claxton against the Timberwolves and only saw seven minutes off the bench over the last three games.
Mikal Bridges continued to carry the Nets this week as he scored 30-plus points in the 124-123 overtime win against the Timberwolves. Spencer Dinwiddie made the final stop during the last play, closing out on Mike Conley to cause him to air-ball a potential game-winning 3-pointer. The Timberwolves had a strong first-half, shooting almost 60% from the field, but the Nets were able to adjust at halftime and take over offensively.
The Nets had a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Timberwolves were able to crawl back and keep the game close, with Naz Reid sending the game to overtime at 114 with a 3-pointer. Neither team was able to garner a comfortable lead in overtime, leading to the last few possessions being very intense, but the Nets were able to secure the win thanks to the defensive effort by Dinwiddie on the final play.
Bridges ended the night with 34 points and six rebounds, shooting 4-8 from the 3-point line, and Dinwiddie had a great game as well with 29 points and 11 assists, with both players being the offensive anchor to grab the win. Royce O’Neale was effective off the bench with 12 points and 15 rebounds, along with Seth Curry and his 11 points.
Anthony Edwards led the charge on offense for the Timberwolves with 32 points and six rebounds. Rudy Gobert had the most points this season as a member of the Timberwolves with 26 points, along with 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Off the bench, Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 10 points.
The Nets were able to withstand a Western juggernaut on Mar. 12 when they faced off against the Nuggets in another close game, winning 122 -120 despite a triple-double by Nikola Jokic. The Nets played tremendous offense in the third quarter, outsourcing the Nuggets 37-18 while shooting 63%. Nets coach Jacque Vaughn described it as one of the most impressive quarters he has seen since his time with the team.
The Nets were down by eight to begin the second half, but their resurgence not only caused them to cut down on the lead, but headed into the fourth quarter with a 98-87 lead over the Nuggets. The Nuggets proceeded to have a comeback of their own, but their efforts were not enough as Jokic failed to make a game-winning 3-pointer.
The numbers from today's W 📊 pic.twitter.com/V00sqVAsiP
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 13, 2023
Bridges had 25 points, while Claxton had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. Dinwiddie had 15 points, 16 assists, one steal and one block. Dorian Finney-Smith had 15 points, while Cam Johnson had 14 points. Off the bench, Curry had 12 points, while O’Neale had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.
For the Nuggets, Jokic had a big triple-double with 35 points, 20 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and two blocks. Michael Porter Jr. had 25 points, shooting 3-5 from the 3-point line. Jamal Murray had 16 points before being taken out in the fourth quarter due to a left knee injury.
The Nets lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Mar. 14 in a 121-107 blowout caused by a third quarter resurgence by the Thunder. The Nets kept the pace to their advantage in the first-half, playing well on both sides of the floor and had a 10 point lead going into halftime. The Thunder came back with a force, opening the third quarter with a 3-pointer by Luguentz Dort, and the Thunder never stopped attacking from the 3-point line, making 8 of 14 attempted 3-pointers in the third quarter.
The Nets could not answer back on defense in the fourth quarter as the Thunder began to attack the inside and gain opportunities at the free-throw line, growing their lead to an insurmountable one in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Bridges ended the game with 34 points, while Johnson had 23 points and nine rebounds. Claxton had 12 points and matched with 12 rebounds, and Dinwiddie had 16 points and 11 assists, but their offensive efforts were not enough to take down the Thunder.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 35 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Dort had 24 points and nine rebounds. Jalen Williams had 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Josh Giddey had a triple-double with 15 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds along with two steals.
The Nets were no match for the emerging Sacramento Kings in a 101-96 loss on Mar. 16. The Kings have been on a roll throughout this NBA season, having a 10-2 record since the All-Star Break and have shown no signs of stopping. While the Nets were able to keep pace with the Kings in the first quarter with the score tied at 24, but the Kings ramped up their defense and put a stop to the Nets’ offense.
The Kings went on to go on a 13-0 scoring run to outscore the Nets 30-17 heading into halftime. The Nets went on a 10-0 run of their own to trim down the lead were able to catch up to the Kings lead near the end of the fourth. The Kings maintained their lead with their defense and won the game.
Bridges was once again the leading scorer for the Nets as he scored 23 points. Dinwiddie put up 18 points, seven assists, two steals and a block, while Claxton had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Off the bench, Curry had 14 points on 3-5 shooting from the 3-point line.
For the Kings, Domantas Sabonis had 24 points, 21 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. De’Aaron Fox had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray each put up 11 points. Malik Monk, Trey Lyles, and Kessler Edwards were all in double-digits on the scoreboard with 12, 11, and 10 points respectively.
The Nets have been surprisingly keeping themselves afloat this past week. They managed to defeat a Western juggernaut in the Denver Nuggets and win another nail-biter against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nets were also able to keep themselves on pace with the Sacramento Kings, who have been on the top of the standings throughout the season.
While they took a hard loss to the Thunder, the Nets were able to keep themselves alive at a 2-2 record this week. The Nets' core is doing surprisingly well, but is missing that All-Star caliber player. While Ben Simmons is an All-Star type of player who can space the floor and give good looks, he isn’t an All-Star that can be relied on when it comes to scoring, unlike Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. Along with that, Simmons has not seen any playing time since the end of the All-Star break due to his injuries, which also is problematic to the Nets for not only this season, but the next season as well.
- Nets take multiple losses this week, leading to drop in the standings - March 24, 2023
- Nets grab 2-2 record this week - March 17, 2023
- Nets lose four straight after the All-Star break - March 3, 2023