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Brooklyn Nets Week in Review: 12/9-12/15

The rollercoaster season continues for the Brooklyn Nets.

In the midst of a six-game homestand, the Nets began their week on a promising note with a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers last Thursday night. They followed that up with a pair of clunkers, falling to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, and the Orlando Magic on Monday night. In case you missed any of the action, here is a recap of the past three games:

Against the hapless 76ers, the Nets struggled early on. They received a boost from Andrea Bargnani, who returned after missing four games with a hamstring injury. The forward scored a season-high 23 points as Brooklyn took control of the game in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia actually led going into the final frame, but the Nets went on an 18-6 run and never looked back. Thaddeus Young added 18 points and 11 rebounds in the victory.

Winners of two straight, the Nets came into Saturday’s tilt with the Clippers brimming with confidence, but that didn’t last very long. In the second quarter, the Clippers built a lead that they would maintain until the fourth quarter. Down by as many as 18 points, the Nets began intentionally fouling DeAndre Jordan, who is a notoriously bad free throw shooter. That strategy worked, as they clawed back into the game late in the period. The Nets got to within two points several times, but Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick hit clutch shots to put the game away.

For the Clippers, it was their first win over the Nets since Dec. 11, 2007, when they called New Jersey home. Young led the Nets with 18 points in the loss, while Jarrett Jack chipped in 16 points and 11 assists. Backup point guard Shane Larkin was poked in the eye during the first half and was forced to leave the game. He never returned, playing only six minutes.

Things took a turn for the worse on Monday night against the Magic, another team who was winless when facing the Nets in Brooklyn. After a competitive first half, the Magic dominated the Nets and won by a final score of 105-82. Brook Lopez, who has been in a bit of a slump lately, finished with 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting and grabbed just six boards. Larkin played for the Nets, but his presence wasn’t enough against a younger, faster Magic team.

Notes: Young has been a double-double machine for the Nets. After a 10 point, 11-rebound effort against the Magic, he now has 12 on the season, which is tied with Chicago’s Pau Gasol for seventh in the NBA. He is well worth the four-year, $50 million contract the Nets gave him in the offseason. Even though the Nets are struggling, he and Lopez give them solid frontcourt pieces to build around.
Rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had successful surgery last week to repair his fractured right ankle. He is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. The Nets obviously miss his energy and athleticism, as they were a vastly improved team when he was inserted into the starting lineup back in November.

Joe Johnson has continued to struggle this season. He finished with only six points on two made field goals in Monday’s loss to the Magic. He has arguably been Brooklyn’s most consistent player since they traded for him back in 2012, but with so much mileage on his legs, you have to wonder whether his best days are behind him.

General manager Billy King is in the final year of his contract. If owner Mikhail Prokhorov decides not to retain him after the season, he will have had just one playoff series victory in his six seasons running the Nets.

With the loss to Orlando, the Nets dropped to 7-17 on the season. Their schedule will only continue to get harder, as six of their final eight games in 2015 come against teams with winning records. Next up for the Nets is a home game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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