Brooklyn Nets vs Detroit Pistons Notes & Observations: 3/30/17
The Brooklyn Nets road into Detroit hoping to sneak away with another victory. After beating the Pistons on a Brook Lopez fadeaway last game, it was Detroit who got the last laugh late in this game beating the Nets 90-89.
This was an ugly effort for both teams as neither were able to get any shots to fall as the game started. Brooklyn shot 38 percent from the floor and 32 percent from deep while turning the ball over twelve times.
For a majority of the game, Brook and Jeremy Lin were largely held in check. While Sean Kilpatrick was able to return to his old form, the rest of the bench failed to make a real impact on the game or hold the Pistons in check while the starters rested.
Both Brook & Lin Were Non-factors for most of the game
The Brooklyn Nets rely heavily on their Brook-Lin cornerstone in order to initiate the offense. Unfortunately for the Nets, Detroit was more than up to the task of eliminating Brooklyn’s foundation.
The dynamic duo both played 31 minutes last night, a rare feat for either player, but failed to deliver in crunch time. Brook ended with 11 points, two assists, and nine rebounds while shooting four of seventeen from the floor and two of seven from deep. Lin had 14 points, four assists, five rebounds, and three turnovers on six of fourteen shooting from the floor and one of five shooting from deep.
Brook struggling against a focused and honed in Andre Drummond is not the biggest shock in the world, given how supremely talented Drummond looks when he is in tune with the rest of the team. Lin’s struggles were a little concerning, as he is coming off of several sub-par games by his standards.
Ish Smith is one of the fastest point guards with the ball in his hands in basketball, so Lin had to exert a ton of energy on defense. In addition to that, it seems he is in a funk recently. Over the past three or four games especially he has just looked off. The usual Lin-charm and aura has seemed to fade a little bit.
No player is immune to slumps, especially in a situation like Lin’s in Brooklyn. He has been tasked with being the primary scoring guard, the primary facilitator, vocal leader of both the offense and defense, and has been injured for most of the season on the worst team in the league. Most other starting point guards in the league that are tasked with all of that have some help or people that help lessen the load. His only real, consistent help is Brook. Lin will snap out of it eventually, all you can do is sit back at watch.
Kilpatrick Looked Like His Old Self Again
If there was one positive to take away from a game where the highest paced offense failed to score even 90 points against a team that is not going to the playoffs, its that Sean Kilpatrick started to look like his old self again.
After missing several games due to injury, he is finally back and in the swing of things as the primary scorer off the bench. Last night he ended with 15 points on six of twelve shooting from the floor and one of four from deep in 23 minutes of action.
The Nets were able to rattle off some wins in his absence, but make no mistake this team was winning despite his absence. He is the focal point of the bench unit and can go off for 25-30 points at any given time when he gets the hot hand. His gritty play on offense defined a bench unit that was routinely scoring over 50 points per game when he was on the floor. Without him, they were lucky to crack 35 points as a unit.
The Bench Failed To Make An Impact
The Brooklyn Nets have been a team that has relied heavily on their bench all season long. When the bench doesn’t perform, chances are the Nets won’t get the win. Last night was the perfect example of that.
Aside from Spencer Dinwiddie’s 10 points and Kilpatrick’s 15, no one else scored in double figures. Trevor Booker played 18 minutes and only scored seven points on three of eight shooting, Justin Hamilton was in the game for 16 minutes and only had six points on two of four shooting, K.J. McDaniels had four points in 14 minutes, and Isaiah Whitehead failed to score any points in his 15 minutes on the floor.
This is a team that wins as a unit only. There are no superstars that are scoring 30+ points and pulling down 15 rebounds every night. They rebound and score by committee. It is a system that only works when everyone is contributing little by little. Detroit was able to shut down everything Brooklyn’s bench tried to throw at them and it led to the victory in the end.