By Tom Dowd
The Brooklyn Nets return home for the second game of a back-to-back, facing the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night at Barclays Center at 7:30 p.m. Find Tickets
Tuesday night the Nets dropped a 125-121 final to the Magic in Orlando to fall to 2-2 overall. Brooklyn let multiple double-digit leads slip away and missed offensive opportunities in the final minutes while surrendering 41 points to Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, who shot 14-of-18 overall and 5-of-5 from 3-point range.
D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 29 points in 29 minutes and is averaging a team-leading 23.0 points and 5.5 assists per game through four games.
DeMarre Carroll is averaging 15.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 49 percent overall and 44 percent from 3-point range.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
The Nets’ last three games have each been single-possession games at some point within the last five minutes. After pulling away from the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center, they came up short in Orlando Tuesday night.
But that’s just part of the fun so far. Nets games are by far the highest scoring in the NBA through the first week of action. While the Nets lead the league with 123.5 points per game, they also allow the second-most points in the NBA at 122.5 per game for total of 246 points per game being scored.
The fast tempo of Nets games is a factor there. Brooklyn is second in the league in pace – the average number of possessions per 48 minutes – at 110.94 per game. That’s a jump from Brooklyn’s league-leading number of 103.58 from last season. And the Nets are second in the league in averaging 92.3 shots per game.
EVERYBODY FOR THREE
Through the first four games, the Nets are a hair shy of last season’s rate of 3-point attempts per game – 30.3 compared to 31.6. But while that number ranked fourth in the NBA for the 2016-17 season, it would only be good for seventh right now, and the Nets are 10th.
Everybody’s shooting it more. And while the Nets are so far shooting threes slightly less, they’re converting them better. Brooklyn’s percentage of 35.5 is 14th, whereas the Nets were 26th in the league with a 33.8 percentage last season.
Last season Dallas ranked 16th in the NBA by shooting 35.5 percent, so the Nets’ current standing is consistent with the league median. Currently the NBA is shooting 35 percent from 3-point range as a whole. Overall, 3-point attempts are up from 27.0 per game to 28.3 per game.
TWO AT THE 4
The Nets are getting major production at the 4 spot with the combo of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Trevor Booker. While a few others such as DeMarre Carroll and Quincy Acy have seen minutes at the traditional power forward spot, it has primarily been Hollis-Jefferson (24.3 minutes per game) and Booker (25.3 minutes per game), with Booker getting some of his minutes at the 5 in some lineups.
Combined, Hollis-Jefferson and Booker are averaging 28.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game and shooting .555 from the field.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS
The three-time NBA finalists and 2016 champs are off to a 3-1 start for 2017-18. After Saturday’s loss to Orlando, the Cavs topped the Chicago Bulls Tuesday night behind 34 points and 3 assists from LeBron James.
James leads Cleveland with 27.3 points and 8.0 assists per game and averages 6.8 rebounds per game. Kevin Love averages 27.3 points and a team-high 11.0 rebounds per game. After James and Love, four of Cleveland’s next top five scorers – Derrick Rose, Jeff Green, Jae Crowder and Dwyane Wade, are new to the Cavs, who traded Kyrie Irving to Boston for Crowder, Ante Zizic and Isaiah Thomas, who has yet to play this season due to injury.
BARCLAYS CENTER BAG POLICY
Barclays Center has implemented the following policies to ensure a safe and enjoyable event experience for all guests. No bags larger than 14”x14”x6” will be allowed inside the venue. Backpacks and hard-sided bags of any kind are prohibited.