G62 Brooklyn Nets Need to Think Defense First vs Memphis Grizzlies
Jeremy Lin slowly increased his playing time above 20 minutes in his 5th game back from injury and was very productive to contribute 18points/3rebounds/2assists/1steal/1block in merely 22 minutes to make a late fourth quarter push against the Blazers. Unfortunately, it was not enough as the Nets defense could not stop the Blazers from scoring and lost 116-130.
Non-Existent 3-Point Defense
Throughout the season, the Nets 3-Point defense has been in the bottom rank of the NBA. Currently, it is ranked 26th out of 30 NBA teams with allowing 37.4% but in the last 3 games, it has hit a new low by allowing a horrendous 53.4% to Utah, Sacramento, and Portland. All three opponents are ranked in the Top 13 of the NBA 3-point accuracy.
Bottom Team in Field Goal Allowed
The Nets is also the last team in the NBA in allowing the worst 42.5% of opponent FG%.
The Nets simply has to find ways to fix their leaky defense if they want to increase their chance to get their 11th win of the season.
Nets vs Grizzlies Matchup
The good news is that Memphis offense is ranked in last in 2-point FG% at 47.2% although the 35.2% 3-point FG% is middle of the rank at 19th. In their previous meeting, the Nets lost 103-112 by allowing the Grizzlies to his 41% 3FG and 51% FG, better than their average. It is suffice to say that the Nets will suffer another loss if they don’t put more effort in their defense.
As for Jeremy Lin, he should be expected to play more than 22 minutes with one day of rest. He might try to prove a point to his teammates on defense by getting 5 personal fouls. As a leader, he can show his teammates that they cannot allow easy points.
Having Jeremy Lin healthy gives the Nets an added dimension on offense. Against Portland, he didn’t show any signs of a lingering hamstring injury and scored 18 points with three rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers in 22 minutes.
“I think we’re doing a better job and getting a better rhythm,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said of the offense. “Obviously, Jeremy helps a lot. Just his understanding of what we’re trying to do and his experience.”
Point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has provided stability and solid play in the backcourt. On Friday in a loss to Utah, Dinwiddie’s streak of five full games without a turnover ended. Against Portland, he committed another turnover in 27 minutes while scoring 14 points.
Mike Conley will be a handful, though, for Lin and Dinwiddie. On the season, Conley is averaging 19.9 points and 6.2 assists per game. In the loss to the Rockets, Conley compiled 23 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals.
KEY OF THE GAME: Defense. Jeremy Lin can contribute more offense to the Nets but it comes down to the Nets team effort to play hard on defense if they want to compete.
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!