G60 After a Brook-Lin Powered Win vs Kings, the Nets’ Next Stop is the Jazz
The Nets finally broke a 16-game losing streak with a much necessary win against the Kings who just traded their All-Star Damarcus Cousins. A heavy dose of Brook and Lin in proved to be the key to close out the game, the BrookLin combo scored 14 of the final 18 points in the fourth. Before Lin returned, this inability to close out the 4th quarter was the main reason the Nets lost so many winnable games. Jeremy Lin finished with 17 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers in only 20 minutes of play. His sharp-shooting (5-10 FG, 2-3 3FG) and his ability to get to the free-throw line (5-6 FT) really helped to bring a sense of calm to his teammates.
Lopez also played a big role in ending the skid. He scored 24 points and joined Buck Williams as the second Net to eclipse 10,000 points.
JLin’s Exceptional Shooting
Lin’s shooting has been scorching hot in last 3 games after his return: 57.1% 3FG, 50% FG, 87.5% FT. This was extremely hard to do with the current restricted minutes (16 minutes per game) during his recovery because he needed to rest just when he started to get in rhythm in 5-min playing time in each quarter.
Hard to do w/ only 16min/gm #recovery
— JLin Portal (@JLinPortal) March 2, 2017
Nets vs Jazz Matchup
The Nets faces a difficult challenge to win against a tough Jazz team who just lost two straight games at home so they will come out inspired against the Nets. The Jazz is currently fourth in the playoff race but only 1.5 games separate them from the 7th place OKC Thunder.
The Brook-Lin duo might need more help from Caris Levert, Quincy Acy, Booker to match up against the Jazz Big 3 of Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward and George Hill. But first they need to improve their 2nd unit’s performance who quickly gave up 14-pt lead in just 4 min in the 1st quarter against the Kings if they expect to compete.
Only 1 1/2 games separate fourth-place Utah (37-24) and seventh-place Oklahoma City in the Western Conference standings. There’s no margin for error in such a tight battle for a top four seed.
The Jazz know they can’t afford many more missteps like they experienced against Minnesota, especially against an opponent that snapped a 16-game losing streak Wednesday night in Sacramento.
“We got to come out ready and be tough mentally,” Gobert said. “Every time we’re a little tired, we just play like we don’t want to show that we’re tired. It’s not how it should work. All of us, we got to be tougher.”
In road victories over the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards, Hayward averaged 29.5 points and Hill averaged 20.0 points. Both players shot 50 percent or better from the field in those games and combined for 13 made 3-pointers.
KEY OF THE GAME: Jeremy Lin is still expected to have a restricted 20+min. It might not be enough to help the Nets steal a win vs the Jazz but we should prioritize Lin’s health, more Brook-Lin performance and hope his teammates will follow his lead to start believing that they can win.
Let’s hope and pray JLin will stay healthy as his body adjusts to the rigor of NBA physical games and help the Nets believe they can win more games!
Let’s go, JLin and the Nets!