Brooklyn Nets at Sacramento Kings 3-1-18 Notes and Observations
A tightly contested affair ended with the Sacramento Kings nipping the Brooklyn Nets in overtime 116-111. The Nets had a road victory snatched from them by a De’Aaron Fox buzzer-beating floater at the end of regulation. The Nets now have lost seven straight road games since a win in Detroit on January 21st. Brooklyn will have to overcome this losing streak quickly as the Sacramento contest began a four game California road trip and an away game in Charlotte follows the trip.
Crabbe in a Bucket
After lackluster December and January months, Allen Crabbe had an encouraging February and seems anxious to take that play into March. Crabbe has responded to extra shot creating responsibility with aplomb as he has scored over 20 points per game the last eight games.
Crabbe scored 18 against the Kings with a hot first quarter start. Crabbe’s points came off six threes including three made in the first quarter. The slump of Spencer Dinwiddie in 2018 has required an extra source of scoring to come from somewhere in the Brooklyn rotation.
D’Angelo Russell has eagerly donned a lot of the responsibility since he returned. Still, a reliable option needs to at least supplement the ball handlers. Perhaps, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will assume the role as he shakes off the post-injury rust. But for now, Crabbe has done admirably.
19 turnovers in regulation of a road game and 22 total do not lead to victories often. Especially when said butterfingered team’s transition defense also remains lax. Unfortunately, both were descriptive of the Nets in Sacramento.
D’Angelo Russell had too many instances of lax or overambitious decision making married with inaccurate passing. The swaggering confidence of Russell remains a vital part of Russell’s appeal and success. However, at times, that cocksureness leads to his downfall when unchecked.
Jarrett Allen also suffered from mental mistakes of traveling or setting too obvious of an illegal screen in front of referees. The young prospects combined for 11 of the team’s 22 turnovers.
Worst of all, the Nets often felt helpless to stop the Kings from running down their throats in transition. No matter who the members were, the Sacramento backcourt mates knew to attack the rim early as Brooklyn lacked the size to rim protect. Jarrett Allen could have offered that size but often could not keep up with the pace. When Allen sat, the Cunningham as center lineups got easily scored upon. Sacramento may have gotten hot from midrange but resistance should have been stouter.