brooklyn nets
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of five minutes in Philadelphia, the Brooklyn Nets have looked out of sorts this season. The Hornets took advantage of that.

Danny Small

There are a few positive signs early, but the Brooklyn Nets have not looked the part through three games. Although it’s far too early too panic, it’s also fair to be critical of Brooklyn through three games.

Outside of five minutes in Philadelphia, the Nets have not looked like a championship team. Brooklyn had an eight-point lead at halftime, but collapsed in the second half.

On paper, the Charlotte Hornets are a winnable game. Unfortunately for Brooklyn, they don’t play games on paper. Miles Bridges erupted for 32 points while Ish Smith added 15 off the bench.

Foul trouble and inconsistency from James Harden slowed down the second unit. Harden dished out eight assists, but he also turned it over eight times.

Nets coach Steve Nash likes to run Harden out with a bench unit to start second and fourth quarters. This rotation can give Brooklyn an edge in the second unit minutes, but the bench only eked out 27 points on 31 shots on Sunday. That’s not going to cut it.

Without Blake Griffin (rest), the Nets were rolling with Nic Claxton and LaMarcus Aldridge at the center position. Aldridge was solid, scoring nine points and scooping up eight boards, but Nash was resorting to using Kevin Durant at the five in the fourth quarter.

All in all, the Nets have played 139 blah minutes of basketball this season. Five exceptional minutes to close out the 76ers gave them a win, but it’s been a rough start for Brooklyn.

Again, there is no need to panic. The Nets are adjusting to life without Kyrie Irving while his supporters storm the gates of the Barclays Center.

Other Nets Notes

  • There are questions for the Nets to answer as this season progresses, but we know that Durant is not the problem. He dropped 38 points on 17-for-24 shooting, upping his average to 33 points per game.
  • Bruce Brown saw his first real action of the season — Brown played four minutes of garbage time against the Bucks. On Sunday, he had eight points and seven rebounds on 3-for-9 shooting.
  • After shooting 10-for-10 from three-point range to start the season, Patty Mills came back down to earth. He was just 1-for-6 from three and 2-for-10 from the floor in 31 minutes.
  • The Nets will host the Washington Wizards on Monday night in the second game of a five-game home stand.