Brooklyn Nets vs Dallas Mavericks Notes & Observations: 3/19/17
What started out as a very winnable game for the Brooklyn Nets ended up being one of the worst case scenarios, as they lost the game 111-104 and lost starting point guard Jeremy Lin to an ankle injury.
The loss of Lin did not prevent the team from playing as hard as they could, once cutting the deficit from eighteen points to only one late in the fourth quarter. The Nets were sparked by another good Brook Lopez performance and yet another impressive game from Spencer Dinwiddie off the bench. If it wasn’t for J. J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki coming through in the fourth quarter, Brooklyn could’ve possibly pulled this one out without Lin’s steady hand.
Jeremy Lin Is Hurt, Again, Sort Of
Every time Jeremy Lin hits the floor, I hold my breath. It is always the worst case scenario if he gets hurt, so when he landed on someone’s foot and was then later not seen on the bench the writing was on the wall.
Brooklyn soon announced he would not return to the game due to a minor ankle injury. Over 24 hours later, we have since learned that Lin is basically day-to-day and won’t play tomorrow versus the Detroit Pistons. In his place, Spencer Dinwiddie will start.
As far as worst case scenarios go, this isn’t too bad. While seeing Lin miss any games due to injury after a season lost to a bum hamstring isn’t ideal, having him listed as day-to-day is a relief. Sprained ankled happen all the time in basketball, its the equivalent of falling and scraping your knee as a child. Lin isn’t in bad spirits about this, the team looks to have this under control, and at the end of the day these games are pretty pointless outside of player development.
Having Lin on the court has done wonders for LeVert’s game and he always sets up Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with room service dimes. Having him off the court will do no favors for player development but it is better than having him out for the rest of the season with yet another hamstring injury.
Brook’s Big Night Was Almost Enough To Spark A Comeback
Brook Lopez is easily one of the most under appreciated players in the league. Fans have been calling for his trade for years and all he has done in response is becoming the second leading scorer in franchise history. Last night he scored 27 points while shooting eight of eighteen from the floor and three of six from three while pulling down seven rebounds.
Brook’s best moment came on a five point sequence late in the game. He finished an earth shattering alley-oop dunk on one end and then hit a corner three the following possession to further swing momentum in favor of the Nets. Not to be lost in the shuffle, newly signed guard Archie Goodwin put the clamps down on Harrison Barnes. His defense led to the Brook corner three after the amazing dunk.
As Lin was sidelined with the ankle injury, Brook was instrumental in the Nets comeback attempt. Much like the Goonies, this team never says die. Lin could very well be out more than just the Detroit game, so Brook will need to come through like this more and more. He has proven he can get these numbers routinely, hopefully it’ll be enough to keep Brooklyn afloat without Lin.
Spencer Dinwiddie Has Been On Fire Lately
While Brooklyn is without Lin, they will rely on the streaking Spencer Dinwiddie. The former D-Leaguer has gone from starting games for Windy City to starting games for Brooklyn. As of late, Dinwiddie has been looking incredible. After starting the year as an unreliable three point shooter he has since become a threat from deep, upping his season average to almost 40 percent.
Against Dallas he had yet another good game, finishing with 18 points on five of nine shooting. He also dished out seven assists, pulled in two rebounds, and had one steal in 30 minutes of action. This was also a good look at what a unit featuring Dinwiddie at the point for an extended period of time.
With Lin’s injury, Dinwiddie will be thrust into the starting lineup for the foreseeable future. His length and newfound shooting stroke are exactly what Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson are looking for in their point guards. It was exactly why they chose him over Yogi Ferrell. If he can avoid turnovers and keep playing with the same enthusiasm that has helped him get to where he is now, he should do just fine in Lin’s absence.