Two groups performed basketball at Barclays Middle on Saturday. Let’s name them Workforce A and Workforce B.
Workforce A has the NBA’s third-largest payroll and a roster with two possible Corridor of Fame gamers main the cost. Workforce B has the NBA’s second-cheapest payroll, three rotation gamers watching from the sidelines and a roster filled with principally younger, growing prospects.
Workforce A is meant to win in a recreation towards Workforce B, and it shouldn’t be a contest. The truth is, Las Vegas made Workforce A 11-point favorites.
But such is the state of affairs for a Brooklyn Nets crew that has now misplaced 4 video games in a row and dropped to a 1-5 document after their embarrassing 125-116 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, a loss punctuated by Kevin Durant — a sure-fire first-ballot Corridor of Famer — slapping the scorer’s desk in frustration with 4 minutes left within the fourth quarter on the very second he, like many within the crowd, realized his crew was not going to win.
A roster with Durant and Kyrie Irving, succesful shooters and playmakers ought to blow the lid off of most opponents, particularly opponents just like the Pacers who will not be contending for a championship and may not even qualify for the Play-In Match.
As an alternative, the Nets appear like the crew headed for one more Play-In Match look, solely this time, they don’t have the laundry record of excuses to justify the poor efficiency. Solely this time, the Nets have had a full coaching camp with their principally wholesome roster and so they’re persevering with to wrestle.
The primary few losses had been excusable. The New Orleans Pelicans have established themselves as a darkish horse NBA Finals contender within the Western Convention. The Memphis Grizzlies put the league on discover final season, the Milwaukee Bucks are perennial contenders, and Luka Doncic might be the NBA’s Most Invaluable Participant this season. He hung a 40-point triple-double to beat the Nets in time beyond regulation.
The Nets had been alleged to beat the lowly Indiana Pacers on Saturday. It was as near an early season must-win because it will get.
However the identical points that plagued the Nets of their first 4 losses of the season doomed them within the fifth. The protection was atrocious, the Nets acquired outrebounded by a wider margin (53-34) than they misplaced by and Ben Simmons continues to be a shell of himself offensively.
The sport plan towards the Nets is evident: When you can put a shoulder right into a participant, you possibly can possible get by means of him, and if you will get by means of him, there’s no true enforcer on the roster to guard the rim. Far too usually, a defender had to assist from the weak facet, which made the Nets inclined to the nook three.
This occurred time and time once more: The Pacers hit 23 triples, tying an all-time document for many threes made towards the Nets in franchise historical past.
A few of these threes had been flukes — that’s, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and rookie Bennedict Mathurin strolling up the court docket and taking pictures over a contest. A lot of them, nevertheless, weren’t.
The Nets’ protection is in a foul place.
And so, it might seem, are each the crew and the fan base. Some Nets followers started booing the crew as a lowly Indiana roster ran up a double-digit lead. Different followers booed the Nets as they walked off their lovely “basic” court docket design.
The Nets have one other likelihood in a recreation they’re closely favored in — as a result of Workforce A and Workforce B play once more on Halloween.