The Brooklyn Nets bring their new culture to Barclays Center for the first time and face a very talented Indiana Pacers team.
- Indiana Pacers, 1-0
- Brooklyn Nets, 0-1
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
- 7:30 PM EST, YES Network
A resilient comeback attempt against the Celtics fell short, and the Brooklyn Nets dropped their first game of the 2016-17 season. There were good things to take from the loss, and, of course, bad things also.
The offense looked better than expected with a nice balance of outside shots, inside shots, and free throws. Jeremy Lin and Bojan Bogdanovic looked great; Joe Harris (16 points) and Justin Hamilton (19 points, ten boards) put on surprisingly effective performances while Brook Lopez was seemingly absent.
Kenny Atkinson kept a stout Celtics defense on edge with spread pick-and-rolls and motion offense, which helped trim Boston’s 23-point fourth quarter lead to five.
Boston is primed to be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, and the Indiana Pacers are going to be Brooklyn’s second-straight tough performance.
Indiana had an excellent offseason adding Al Jefferson, Jeff Teague, and Thaddeus Young, all of whom played well in their debuts against the Dallas Mavericks. With this influx of talent, the Pacers have a legitimate chance to finish top-three in the East.
Teague tallied 20 points, eight assists, and three steals, and both he and Lin are going to have their hands full going up against each other.
Paul George is back and finished Wednesday’s contest with 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will undoubtedly stick to George throughout the game, and it’ll be fun watching the sophomore take on one of the NBA’s elite wing players.
Young will be playing in his first game against Brooklyn since being traded to the Pacers, and the 6’9 forward had a relatively quiet evening against Dallas. It took him 34 minutes to foul out, but he managed to chip in 11 points and five boards before being disqualified.
Arguably, the Nets’ biggest threat is Myles Turner, who looked liked the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon against Dallas. The 20-year-old torched the Mavericks defense to the tune of 30 points, manhandled them on the glass and hauled in 16 rebounds, and kept the rim on lock with four swats.
Although their defense isn’t one of the best, it’s better than Brooklyn’s.
Albeit, the Mavericks primary centers are Andrew Bogut and Dirk Nowitzki, who aren’t the most mobile of big guys. Lopez could hold Turner to a mildly efficient night because he’s big, can move well enough, and isn’t afraid to step out to the perimeter on the one-five pick-and-pop.
This game has the makeup of a shootout which gives the Nets a fighting chance. Unlike Boston, the Pacers aren’t a stellar defensive team, but they are a great rebounding team who moves the ball, so that poses problems for Atkinson’s squad.
If Indiana struggles guarding the three-point line like they did against Dallas (37.5 percent), Brooklyn has another way to keep the game close.