The Brooklyn Nets end their never ending road trip with a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Another winnable game, like most of them since Jeremy Lin has gotten back from his injury. However, the game slipped out of their hands in the final quarter.
The Mavericks won 105-96, holding the Nets scoreless in the fourth quarter as they made the run that closed the game. Yogi Ferrell looked good against the team that cut him earlier in the season, scoring 17 points in 34 minutes, as bad basketball from the Mavericks didn’t stop them from showing dominance over the Nets when it matters. It included 21 points from Harrison Barnes and 18 from Seth Curry.
Jeremy Lin: He finished with 18 points, half of them from the line (9-for-10), while shooting 4-of-9 from the field. He didn’t make a field goal in the fourth quarter and took just one shot (played less than 6 minutes). He contributed in other ways, but while this was another encouraging game for Lin who shows he can score and get to the line when his outside shot isn’t as smooth as it’s been in recent games, it was far from good enough to carry the Nets against a more talented team.
Yes, Lin got surprising help from Isaiah Whitehead with 24 points, hitting 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Trevor Booker was helpful as always (very good in my opinion to bring him off the bench) with 15 points, and that was about it. Randy Foye didn’t score a single point and Sean Kilpatrick was a huge disappointing, shooting just 3-for-11 from the field and 1-for-8 from downtown. So much for consistency and being a reliable scoring option.
Brook Lopez didn’t play as well. As flawed as he is a so-called franchise big man, there are some thing he does very well that no one on the Nets can do. Justin Hamilton is a center by definition, but there’s very little he can give the Nets, who started an ultra small lineup you rarely see in the NBA, and looked more like something a college team would use on a regular basis. Most media outlets mentioned how sluggish the Mavericks looked. Yes, it had more to do with a bad shooting day from Dallas than a good defensive day from the Nets, but at least from Lin’s POV, he looked better than before on defense.
What now? Rest, and an opportunity to earn some city pride by trying to beat a very sorry looking Knicks team. This will be Lin’s first home game in 2017, and after 27 minutes against the Mavericks, it might also be his first time with 30 minutes or more since December 22. With so few things to be happy about regarding the Knicks, Lin moving closer to no more minute restrictions is something worth celebrating.