The Nets are 2-1 in the past week:
March 7 Nets 120-126 Celtics (away)
March 9 Nets 132-121 Hornets (away)
March 11 Nets 129-100 Philadelphia (away)
Current record: 34 wins and 33 losses
Ranking: Eighth in the East
On March 7, the Nets ushered in Durant’s first away game after his comeback, which meant that the 711 combination was reunited after two months. Faced with three Eastern Conference powerhouses this week, the team has a decent record of 2 wins and 1 loss. After beating the Hornets, the Nets finally got out of the quagmire of a four-game losing streak, while further consolidating the team’s eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Durant and Irving, the two leading scorers, played together in three games, filling the Nets’ offensive firepower. In terms of scoring, the Nets averaged 127 points per game this week, ranking first in the league. Compared with last week, it increased by 18.2 points, and the shooting percentage was as high as 54.2%. However, the loss to the Celtics on the road also exposed the problems at both ends of the Nets’ offense and defense.
Facing the Green Army, the Nets were emptied by Lowe in the penalty area at the beginning of the game, and then Tatum grabbed offensive rebounds and scored three-pointers in a row. The Nets’ interior defense was weak and could not keep up with the opponent’s offensive rhythm. Although relying on Durant’s hot touch, the team dominated the first three quarters, but the situation reversed in the fourth quarter.
At the final decisive moment, the Nets, who relied too much on Durant’s personal singles, suddenly lost power in their offense. They were firstly attacked by the Greens with a multi-point burst of 8:0, and then they failed to resist Tatum’s sudden outbreak on the defensive end. Under the slightly loose defense of the Nets, Tatum scored 18 points in the last quarter, and the audience bombed for 54 points. In the end, the Nets lost on the road.
Fortunately, after such a loss, the team immediately responded. Defeating the Hornets and the 76ers for two consecutive victories depends on reducing singles and improving defense.
Against the Hornets, Irving played a different aggression, scoring 50 points on 15 of 19 efficiently while also bringing vitality to the entire team’s offense. In this battle, Irving attracted defense by constantly rushing to the basket and running off the ball, activating a number of outside shooters – Mills hit four three-pointers and Curry Jr. hit three three-pointers. At the same time, Irving also opened up space for his teammates and fed the cake Zhuangshen through pick-and-roll cooperation. The Nets team sent out 33 assists in this campaign, defeating the opponent with excellent team basketball.
The most critical battle this week is the Nets and the 76ers who have just experienced a blockbuster trade before the trade deadline. In this much-anticipated showdown, the Nets took the lead against the visitors. With the performance of scoring 40 points in the first quarter, the Nets established a 17-point lead early. Leading by 32 points after three quarters, the Nets completely took away the game.
Although on the defensive end, facing Embiid, who has a strong interior dominance, the Nets starter Drummond moved slowly, and the substitute Claxton was slightly inexperienced. In the first quarter, Embiid was sent 13 times. free throw line. However, the Nets’ defensive strategy in this campaign also has a successful part, which is to cut off the pick-and-roll cooperation between Harden and Embiid and let the two play singles with the ball. Under the strict precautions of the Nets, Harden had a bad feeling in this battle, scoring 11 points on only 3 of 17 shots, and Embiid’s athletic score was only 12 points.
On the offensive end, in addition to the stable output of Duou’s two cores, who averaged 56 points per game, the newly joined Drummond and Curry are also becoming more and more integrated into the team. In the face of the Hornets, Drummond got 20 points and 14 rebounds at the basket, dreaming of returning to the Pistons era. Curry Jr. made 10 of 14 shots in the matchup with the 76ers, hitting 71.4%, and efficiently scored 24 points. A number of role players played an irreplaceable role during the two-game winning streak.
Of next week’s four games, the Nets will allow Irving to play in only one away game. Whether Durant alone can lead the Nets to continue their winning streak and secure the top eight position in the Eastern Conference remains to be seen.