Brooklyn Nets Jarrett Allen
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets won their first game following Caris LeVert’s gruesome injury and it laid the blueprint for the rest of the season.

  • Brooklyn Nets 113 (7-9)
  • Washington Wizards (5-10)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.

The Brooklyn Nets needed a win in the worst possible way and Kenny Atkinson’s squad answered the bell on Friday night against the Washington Wizards. In the wake of Caris LeVert’s devastating injury, the Nets needed a win to feel good about themselves. They received great news when they heard that LeVert would return at some point this season, but they needed to see some on-court success to build up the confidence.

The Nets and Wizards traded blows for much of the first half, but the second half was controlled by Brooklyn. The Nets jumped out to an early lead in the third quarter and never looked back.

Brooklyn dominated Washington when the second units were on the floor. The second unit for the Nets outpaced the Wizards all night long. Brooklyn’s bench outscored Washington’s 56-31.

There’s no one player on the Nets who can fill LeVert’s shoes this season. Instead, the Nets will need everyone to shoulder some of the load. Tonight, Atkinson’s three best players stepped up in a big way. Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell combined for 48 points and 14 assists while shooting 16-29 from the floor. Without LeVert, it’s a necessity that Russell and Dinwiddie coexist. Atkinson should stagger their minutes, but they will also need to close games together. Friday night was a positive step.

Furthermore, Jarrett Allen left a gaping hole in the frontcourt against the Timberwolves and the Heat. Brooklyn needed him back in the worst way and he provided his usual, steady game. He added 16 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. He helps keep the defense honest and sagging in towards the paint. He has tremendous roll gravity and it opens up the floor for shot creators like Dinwiddie and Russell.

The trio of Russell, Dinwiddie, and Allen led the way for Brooklyn, but Rodions Kurucs was a significant bright spot off the bench. Without LeVert there are minutes up for grabs. Kurucs acquitted himself well on Friday in his 19 minutes. He scored nine points and collected three rebounds, but his impact goes beyond the box score. He has a good feel for the game, he’s an instinctive defender, and he’s crafty on offense. Kurucs will have his ups and his downs this season, but he’s showing potential early in his career.


NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.