G6 Surging Brooklyn Nets (3-2) Seeks First Road Win against New York Knicks (0-3)
And LeBron, who has played the Nets at least twice a year every year in his career, made a note of how Brooklyn has changed over the past two seasons under Atkinson and Marks.
“They’re trying to play the game the right way,” James conceded after Cleveland’s loss. “That’s what they’re doing. They’ve got some good young pieces, those guys and they’re playing the right way and they’re sharing the ball.”
Next they will visit their city rival, New York Knicks. There is always a danger for a young team to let down their guard after a huge win so it remains to be seen if Coach Kenny Atkinson can help his team focus on getting their first road win of the season.
Best Offense and Worst Defense
Brooklyn owns the best offense pacing the league at 121.2 points per game, ahead of even the Golden State Warriors. But the bad news is it also owns the worst defense allowing opponents to score 119.2 points per game.
It is somewhat a relief to know that the Knicks rank 30th in points per game at 93.3 points per game but the Nets simply cannot let down their guard on defense, especially on the road. They blew multiple leads on their last road game against the Magic to lose 121-126. And their weakness against shooting bigs (Vujevic and Gordon of Magic scored career-high 41 points) will not bode well if the Knicks rely on Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez who also did well in their preseason games against the Nets.
Mere days into the NBA season, the two teams’ fortunes couldn’t be more different.
The 3-2 Nets might be the surprise of the early slate: Coming off a 112-107 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn is pacing the league at 121.2 points per game, ahead of even the Golden State Warriors.
“They’re just playing free, free of mind, that’s exactly how they are playing,” James said of the Nets after the loss. “They’re moving it, they’re sharing it and that’s good ball.”
Granted, the 112 points against the Cavs was Brooklyn’s lowest scoring output of the season. But what the Knicks wouldn’t give for a 112-point game at this point.
Off to an 0-3 start, New York has not scored more than 107 points in a game. With 84- and 89-point showings, the Knicks rank 30th in points per game at 93.3.
If there is one team out there against which the Knicks might finally get right offensively, it’s the Nets, especially at home. While Brooklyn is 3-0 at the Barclays Center, its first 3-0 home start since 2002-03, it is 0-2 away.
And in addition to leading the league in scoring, Brooklyn is allowing 119.2 points per game. No team last year allowed more than 113.3.