The Nets had their moments against the Knicks on Wednesday night. It wasn’t the result the team or fans wanted but there were enough good signs to take from the game as they head into their second preseason matchup, this time with the Detroit Pistons. Here are 3 things to keep an eye on in Monday’s game with Detroit.
Jarrett Allen vs Andre Drummond
Allen has notoriously struggled against the league’s biggest, most physically imposing big men. On Wednesday he lined up with Enes Kanter and those deficiencies were on full display.
— NBA (@NBA) October 4, 2018
In just the first play alone the Nets center gets bullied out by Kanter, allowing him to snatch the offensive board. His body positioning and developing frame will continue to be an issue unless he finds ways to work around it. As Coach Atkinson said, that burden shouldn’t fall fully on Allen’s shoulders.
Atkinson: “I thought (Enes Kanter) caught the ball too easily in the post … I thought he caught it too deep and we let him get in the middle too much. You can’t box him out with one guy.” #Nets @NetsDaily
— Bryan Fonseca (@BryanFonsecaNY) October 4, 2018
In the two games last season where the sophomore started against the Pistons he put up the following numbers via Basketball Reference:
He certainly held his own on those occasions. Obviously you can only take so much from a preseason performance but how he can limit the effectiveness of his likely opponent Andre Drummond will be something to watch.
Rodions Kurucs Backing Up His Form
For a guy who’s only played 69 minutes over the past 3 years in Europe, Kurucs more than held his own against NBA-ready competition. He filled up the box score (13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals) in only 12 minutes of playing time.
— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) October 4, 2018
Coach Kenny was full of praise for the young rookie, per NetsDaily.
“I was very pleased with Rodi. I loved his energy. He’s a talented guy. He’s got length. I like how he drove it. Showed some good things defensively. He’s a multi-position player, his speed is better than I thought… Confirmed tonight that he’s a talented, talented player.”
Kurucs earned his time against the Knicks and will be given every opportunity to back it up against the Pistons.
Still can’t realize what happened tonight!?
— Rodions Kurucs (@RODIONS1) October 4, 2018
It’s unlikely he has the same level of production but as long as he continues to bring that energy than the coaching staff and fans will be more than happy.
It was a night to forget from the arc for Brooklyn. They shot a pitiful 19.5% (8/41) from the area with only Allen Crabbe (2/6) and Jared Dudley (1/2) shooting above 25% from the perimeter. It’s still very early days and you’d much rather be having these off nights in early October than mid-January. Atkinson was pretty blunt in his assessment of the team’s efforts.
“We took a lot of contested ones, especially contested ones off the dribble. The contested 3 off the dribble is a tough shot, too many of those. Our offense has a long way to go.”
He was equally frank in summing up LeVert’s (1/5) underwhelming performance from three.
“Some of those contested 3s were on his plate, so he needs to clean up his shot selection a little. It was up and down. He did some good things. Shot selection was one of those things that concerned me a bit.”
Caris isn’t the only one who’ll need to finetune his shooting as Brooklyn looks to get their first win of the preseason against Detroit in the coming days.