Recapping the Road Trip

The Brooklyn Nets just concluded an eight game road trip spanning from to February 7 to February 22. Over that span, which included the All-Star break, the Nets went 3-5. You can check out the preview for the road trip here.

Brooklyn 77 – 114 Washington

 Rob Carr/Getty Images
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Brook Lopez: 19 points, 8 rebounds

John Wall: 17 points, 7 rebounds

Before this game, the Washington Wizards were on a five game losing streak, the longest streak since the 2012-13 season. The Wizards came to play winning by 37 points, their largest margin of victory during the season. Wizards’ C Marcin Gortat celebrated the victory by berating Brooklyn.

“At the end of the day, it was Brooklyn, so we can’t get really excited like that — super excited.”

The Nets could not come away with a victory in this game because they simply could not put the ball in the basket. Only two players managed to score in double figures Lopez (19) and Jarrett Jack (11) and the Nets shot a putrid 34 percent from the field, 22 percent from the three point line and 68 percent from the charity stripe.

Nearly 30 percent of Brooklyn’s points came from the free throw line and they simply could not convert from the field. It was an ugly game.

Brooklyn 97 – 103 Milwaukee

Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Jarrett Jack: 26 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 12 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals

The Nets played a great first half, but had one of their trademark third quarters and fell apart. Brooklyn was outscored 32-16 in the third quarter which sealed the game for Milwaukee.

Brooklyn received contributions from all over with Jack leading the way with 26, and Joe Johnson (19), Mason Plumlee (13), Bojan Bogdanovic (13) and Brook Lopez (10) all breaking into double digit scoring.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a fantastic game coming close to a triple double. Khris Middleton scored 12 of his 18 points in the third quarter and Jared Dudley racked up 19 points. The Bucks used their length on defense to force 18 turnovers, including eight forced turnovers in the third quarter.

The Nets shot well from the field and played good basketball, but the Bucks simply forced too many turnovers and had a red-hot third quarter.

Brooklyn 86 – 95 Memphis

Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Mason Plumlee: 15 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals

Zach Randolph: 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals

In Lionel Hollins’ return to Memphis, where he received a standing ovation his new team could not come away with a victory. Memphis was on fire coming into this game winning 14 of their last 16.

The Nets usually have strong first quarters but in this game they were limited to just 15 points compared to Memphis’ 32 and while they matched Memphis for the rest of the game, they could never recover from the poor first quarter.

The Grizzlies frontcourt duo led the way, Zach Randolph totaling 19 points and 9 rebounds and Marc Gasol adding 14 and 11. Six Grizzlies scored in double figures.

For Brooklyn, Mason Plumlee and Alan Anderson each scored a team-high 15, Brook Lopez and Jarrett Jack both scored 12 points and Joe Johnson added 11.

The Nets really did not play a bad last three quarters, outscoring Memphis 71-63 in the final three quarters, the first quarter just set up the Nets for failure.

Brooklyn 114 – 105 Los Angeles (Lakers)

D. Andrew Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
D. Andrew Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Deron Williams: 12 points, 15 assists, 2 steals

Ed Davis: 16 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals

Now after the All-Star break and NBA trade deadline, this was a rejuvenated team and this game was incredibly fun to watch. Bojan Bogdanovic opened up the game with some thunder, throwing down a left-handed poster dunk, which you can see here. This was an incredible team effort by Brooklyn and while the opponent wasn’t a great team, it showed their potential.

Deron Williams was inserted into the starting lineup for the injured Jarrett Jack and produced, racking up 15 assists, a season-high. Joe Johnson led all scorers with 23, Brook Lopez (22), Bojan Bogdanovic (18), Alan Anderson (14) and Deron Williams (12) all scored double digits. Thaddeus Young made his debut for Brooklyn totaling 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in just 12 minutes of action.

The Lakers received a large contribution from their bench. Los Angeles’ bench racked up 57 points led by Jeremy Lin who scored a team-high 18. Ed Davis (16 and 14) and Jordan Hill (12 and 10) both had double-doubles off the bench.

Brooklyn had an uncharacteristically strong third quarter, scoring 40 points, but followed it with an abysmal fourth quarter, only managing 18 points compared to the Lakers’ 28.

This was a quality win for Brooklyn and showed a different team than the Nets before the All-Star break.

Brooklyn 110 – 82 Denver

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Deron Williams: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 12 assists

Danilo Gallinari: 22 points

This win was a perfect example of a team effort by Brooklyn. The Nets outscored Denver in every quarter including only limiting the Nuggets to 13 points in the final quarter.

The Nets had seven players in double figures led by Brook Lopez who had 19 off the bench. The other players in double figures were Deron Williams (16), Thaddeus Young (15), Mason Plumlee (14), Alan Anderson (13), Joe Johnson (12) and Markel Brown (10).

This was also Brown’s first start, and he delivered with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks. Brooklyn did continue to struggle from the perimeter this game, shooting 19 percent from behind the arc. The three point shot was a major problem for the Nets during the road trip.

This was a true team effort, and every player had a positive +/- rating which shows how well the Nets were playing.

Brooklyn 96 – 102 New Orleans

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Joe Johnson: 21 points, 10 rebounds

Quincy Pondexter: 25 points, 5 rebounds

This was a game Brooklyn should have won. With Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson all out with various injuries, this was Brooklyn’s game to lose, and they did. Thanks to a career-high 25-point effort from Quincy Pondexter along with 15 points and 11 assists from Tyreke Evans who lined up at point guard, the Pelicans were able to slide past the Nets.

Lionel Hollins opted to use a shallow rotation, with only eight players receiving playing time, The bench played well for Brooklyn. Thaddeus Young had 19 points, Jarrett Jack had 15 and Brook Lopez also had 15 along with 7 rebounds.

It’s hard to point where the Nets went wrong but one glaring weakness was the Nets’ ball movement. Brooklyn totaled just 13 assists compared to New Orleans’ 26. Tyreke Evans alone nearly had as many assists as Brooklyn as a whole. Each Pelican had at least one assist as they played good team basketball.

This really should have been a win for Brooklyn and it was a disappointing loss.

Brooklyn 104 – 94 Dallas

Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images
Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images

Deron Williams: 25 points, 6 rebounds

Dirk Nowitzki: 20 points, 6 rebounds

Deron Williams, who played High School basketball in Dallas, showed up in his hometown. Lining up against Rajon Rondo, Williams won the battle. The Mavericks ran a unique lineup with both Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons out due to injury.

Rajon Rondo – J.J. Barea – Monta Ellis – Richard Jefferson – Dirk Nowitzki

The lineup is extremely small but the Nets were also running a small lineup with Joe Johnson lining up at power forward. Mason Plumlee took advantage of the small lineup going for 14 points and 10 rebounds. Off the bench, Thaddeus Young racked up 16 points and 8 rebounds, Jarrett Jack also had 14 points and 4 assists. Joe Johnson added 15 points and 8 rebounds.

For Dallas, Rajon Rondo had an all-around game recording 8 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Monta Ellis totaled 12 points, 5 assists and 3 steals while Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals off the bench. Former-Net Devin Harris also added 14 points and 5 assists.

All in all even though the Nets could only manage three wins during the road trip they were three quality wins and the Nets have seemed like a different team after the All-Star break. Thaddeus Young is producing and seems to fit well with the team and Markel Brown has emerged as a capable starter. The future seems to be looking up for Brooklyn, and don’t be surprised if they nab a playoff spot this year.

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