Game1 BKN Nets vs BOS Celtics: “Nothing to Lose”
October 26 can’t come sooner enough for Jeremy Lin and his Brooklyn Nets. The first game of the 2016-17 season against Boston Celtics will be the first test for the young Brooklyn Nets team. It will be a historic game for both Coach Atkinson and Jeremy Lin because it is the first game for them as an NBA head coach and the unquestioned starting Point Guard and fearless leader of an NBA franchise. Jeremy has started before during his Knicks and Rockets season but it was undoubtedly James Harden’s and Carmelo Anthony’s team.
No NBA analysts would give much chance for the young Nets team to beat the more experienced Celtics team who many predicts to be the 2nd seed this season. But Coach Atkinson and Jeremy would love to shock them by stealing their home game. Can they actually do it? We know rebounding and team defense is the Nets weakness but if the Nets can muster up enough strength and grit to compete, there is always a chance. As Jeremy said it, “When the ball goes up nobody cares about the odds anymore.” The Nets simply had nothing to lose; everyone expects them to lose anyway so hopefully they will play inspired to keep the game close and put the pressure on the Celtics.
Check out the 2 preseason game stats against the Celtics to see the Nets strength and weaknesses:
- Nets starters actually scored slightly more efficiently than the Celtics starters with +2.4/game, 50% FG, 43.5% 3FG, 20.5 reb, 11.5asts in 21.9 min/game while the Celtics starters had +3.6/game, 47.5% FG, 36.8% 3FG, 20 reb, 5 asts in 17.4 min/game
- After Lin rested in the 1st quarter of both games, the Nets led 19-12 at home and trailed 12-15 on the road. That’s +4 combined in the 1st quarter.
It shows that the Nets starters are more than able to compete with the Celtics starters. Nets starters had better 3pt shooting (43.5% vs 36.8%) and assists (10.5 vs 5.7 after being adjusted for 20min/game).
But the weakness of the bench stands out the most:
- Nets bench gave up -14.4/game, shot poorly at 32.7% FG, 25% 3FG, 21 reb, 12.5 asts in 26min/game while the Celtics bench had +8.4/game, 44% FG, 30.2% 3FG, 32.5 reb, 19.5 asts in 30.6 min/game.
- After Lin rested in the 1st quarter of both games, the Nets bench were outscored 8-11 at home and 4-14 on the road. Oh my…
The Nets bench were overwhelmed at every facet of the game and this can’t happen if the Nets want to win the game. Thankfully, the starters will play more minutes in an actual game so the impact of bench weakness can be lessened. But they need to play well enough to give the starters rest so they can close strongly in the 4th quarters. Vasquez, Kilpatrick, Scola, Harris or Bogdanovic would need to play their best games.
KEY OF THE GAME: If the bench can compete for 18 min and play defense, it would give the Nets starters enough energy to steal the game in 30 min (No OT, please). Let’s hope and pray the offense is clicking and the defense is tight like the first preseason game against the Pistons. And even if they lose, the most important thing is health so they can continue to improve.
Let’s go, JLin! Let’s go, Nets!