An early 16-0 run was too much to overcome as the Brooklyn Nets lose at home 114-102 to the Atlanta Hawks.
Points in the paint, turnovers and rebounding will be points of interest for the Brooklyn Nets. A hobbled Atlanta Hawks outfit pumped Brooklyn inside, winning the paint battle 50-26. Brooklyn turned the ball over 18 times, lost the rebounding battle 47-43 and gifted Atlanta 17 more field goal attempts. Despite shooting a solid 17-42 from 3 (40.5 percent), turning the ball over twice as much as your opponent is unacceptable. Spencer Dinwiddie lead the way with 15 points (5-10 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2-2 FT), 9 assists and 3 blocks in 30 minutes. Denis Schroder lead the Hawks with 24 points (11-24 FG, 1-5 3PT, 1-1FT) and 6 assists in 31 minutes.
The match opened with a host of sloppy play from both teams. Offensive fouls, turnovers and clanged shots were a feature of the first 9 minutes of the game. A 16-0 run by Atlanta’s bench however, added life into the match as the Hawks surged to a 14 point lead. Back to back 3 pointers from Allen Crabbe and Joe Harris plus a Dinwiddie drive brought Brooklyn to within 3. However, costly turnovers allowed the Hawks to regain momentum. Atlanta lead 54-45 at the break.
The second half was much of the same. Turnovers, bad shot selection, poor rotations and terrible interior defense was rife. The 3-ball kept Brooklyn close but Luke Babbit’s three triples kept Atlanta afloat. The Hawks entered the fourth up 6.
After opening the fourth with a 8-2 run to close the game within 2, Brooklyn’s offense went cold. A 13-2 Hawks run which featured an Emmy award winning flop pushed the lead to 15. Open looks weren’t falling and costly fouls halted any momentum. Coach Kenny Atkinson inevitably cleared his bench with 3 minutes remaining as the Nets would drop the contest 114-102.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
When the Nets are swinging the ball, they look classy. Open looks, guys in motion and high IQ plays where the ball finds the right man is pretty to watch. Brooklyn put together 26 assists on the night and shot a healthy 17-42 (40 percent) beyond the arc. Many of the misses were wide open but the can’t complain about the looks. They just didn’t go down tonight.
Brooklyn’s bench at the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter allowed a 16-0 run. Poor rotations and failing to clean the glass is tough to overcome if opposing teams are attacking the paint. While they fixed their struggles for a short stretch in the fourth to close the game to 2, they went away from what was working. The Nets were hammering the paint with drives and lay-ups then decided to shoot the ball from range again. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it!
The interior defense is a glaring weakness. Its one thing to be overpowered inside but its another to have players marking fresh air. Atlanta were able to come as they please in the paint tonight. A great example is Hawks power forward Ersan Illyasova. The Turkish International is not a known rebounder yet, he had 8 offensive boards in the game. If he was a physically imposing player then its a different story. Illyasova is 6’10 and built like a rake. 8 offensive boards is unacceptable.
Full box socre via ESPN is available via this link. Next up for the Brooklyn Nets the squad finishes a home and home series as they travel to Atlanta to play the Hawks again on Monday, December 4.