3 things we learned from Brooklyn’s near comeback


The Nets managed to scratch and claw their way back into Friday night’s game against the Grizzlies, but a slow start to the game and struggles toward the very end proved to be too much for Brooklyn to make up for as Memphis won 115-110.

With Kevin Durant currently on track to return for Sunday’s game at Barclays Center against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Nets will finish their three-game stretch without him with a 2-1 record — knocking off the two superior teams they were slated to face during the stretch.

Before moving on to OKC and Durant’s expected return, here are three things we learned from Friday’s loss to Memphis:

Caris LeVert can still further elevate his game

Credit: Justin Ford – USA TODAY Sports

LeVert played well in the first two games without Durant. Friday was different, though. He scored 43 points on 15-for-23 shooting, going 7-for-9 from deep with six assists. Big things for him now: keep this going in some capacity when Durant and Kyrie Irving return.

The Nets need their stars back

Credit: Andy Marlin – USA TODAY Sports

This could be said for any team without their best players: there’s a limit on how well the Nets can do without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Of course, they’ve shown they can beat pretty much anyone without the pair, but they can only sustain such a high level of play for so long. This is still a good experience for the Nets. It’s allowed LeVert to find his stride and Jarrett Allen has put the league on notice. But at some point, not having Durant and Irving will go from a learning opportunity to detrimental.

Unfortunately, the mid-game COVID-19 scares aren’t going away

Credit: Justin Ford – USA TODAY Sports

In the middle of Friday’s game, the Grizzlies announced Jonas Valanciunas had to leave early due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Though apparently, he did not test positive for the illness, it was a contact tracing matter. Regardless, that COVID-19-related occurrence was the second in as many nights — Philadelphia 76ers guard Seth Curry tested positive for the virus while in Brooklyn on Thursday. Unfortunately for the Nets, and the rest of the NBA, this is a real issue — and it’s not going away.



Source link

You might like

About the Author: