Kyrie Irving’s block party and the Simmons/Claxton question: 5 thoughts on Nets-Mavs

Brooklyn, New York – with Keri Irving tightly on it, Luka Dongic Tried to change direction, only to find Ben Simmons heading his way.

The 6-foot-10 goalkeeper came in as an assistant defender, firing the ball and hitting the open field. When two defenders approached him, he turned around to find a line Kevin Durant. Simmons ran into Durant and watched him finish a brutal immersion, tying the match 14 seconds before the end of the fourth quarter.

It was Simmons’ first real highlight as a network. Here the 26-year-old was checking two of the chests he was brought in, Playmaking and Defense, to help Networks in the clutch.

But that wasn’t enough, as Donči’s 41-point Triple Carry Mavericks He crossed the net 129-125 in overtime to drop Brooklyn to 1-4. Kyrie Irving scored 39 points and Durant 37 points. Indianawhich will likely be tied to the lottery at the end of the season, is coming to Brooklyn for a two-game series starting Saturday.

With losers netting in three straight games, here are five thoughts on losing.

Revolving door for the third scorer

After Irving and Durant’s performances, the Nets’ third scorer was tied Royce O’Neill And the David Duke Jr., who each finished 10 points per night. The team was without Joe Harris And the Seth CarreyThe former is resting as a precaution after undergoing two ankle surgeries last year. Curry spent the day with the Long Island Nets and has been training hard. His first appearance of the season could be on Saturday. Nash said Markive Morris He will also join the team after that. He left for personal reasons.

The lack of depth has left Durant and Irving struggling to find a reliable third scorer as Simmons continues to search for a foothold. Simmons finished with just seven points, eight rebounds and four assists in a loss and missed some easy passes, but he continued to show aggressiveness by driving towards the edge.

The loss also showed how important it was TJ Warren It could be, if he comes back and looks close to 20 points in every game he’s scored. Through five matches, the Nets had four different players to be their third top scorer patty millsAnd the Nick ClaxtonAnd O’Neale and Duke all fill that spot. Nothing crossed the 20 point mark. While paying respects to Dončić in his post-match media conference, Durant noted how six Mavericks players hit double digits in their victory. The nets were two baskets away from Durant and Irving being the only double-digit scorers.

“Everyone was involved,” Durant said of Dallas. “They made shots.”

If Brooklyn wants to have a deep run in the postseason, it will be difficult to do so if Durant and Irving have to maintain the scoring burden they bore early in the season. It’s a bit similar to Durant and . workloads James Harden It was early last season before the drama started in Brooklyn. The difference is that the nets were winning those matches, and the workloads are cursed.

The problem can change once on Saturday. With Harris, Curry, and Morris all back in the fold, the Nets are built to win more by committee rather than riding their stars to the ground. But with both shooters laid off for so long, it may take a while before it pays off. If it doesn’t, who knows where the season goes.

What if…? Dinwiddie edition

Of all the “what if…?” Grids have had the past few seasons, one of the scenarios that didn’t get much attention is if Spencer DinwiddyNow with the Mavericks, he did not tear up his three AFC Champions League matches in the 2020-21 season. The injury occurred in Charlotte and the Nets’ unbridled streak of injuries had only seemed to slow this season. No Nets players have been injured in five games of the season and the only players returning from injuries occurred before the season.

Back to Dinwiddie. Harden’s trade rumors were circulating before he went down and was in good health, he may have been involved in Harden’s original trade. Had he stayed in Brooklyn, he would have had a big run as a starting guard due to the revolving door that Harden and Irving had that same season, potentially setting him up for a much richer contract than the $54 million three-year deal. The processors the following summer. Long a media favourite as a netizen, Dinwiddie was asked before the game if he ever thought about what his career would look like now, and his time in Brooklyn never ended with a rip in the AFC Champions League.

“I don’t know if the trade is still happening or not or if I’m thinking about it,” Dinwiddy said. “Regardless of whether it happened or not, I think the Nets are a championship team. Just because if you look at how close this team is, we’ve been putting pressure on people before I get hurt. Even if they trade and I’m in it, that means they’re probably going to keep one of the Caris (LeVert) or Jarrett (Allen), which was obviously really wanted. Or I’m not in it, that means I’m still here and I’m with Harden. So either way you split it, all three of those scenarios maybe the team would win the championship.”

The Nets desperately need a player like Allen now, who has emerged as Cleveland’s All-Star, although Steve Nash said a while ago that he wasn’t sure the team would be able to give him $100 million for five years. The contract he got from the Cleveland Club. Coincidentally, Allen and Levert are now Cleveland teammates. Another scenario is that had the Nets kept Dinwiddie, it could have been a valuable commercial piece on Deadline as a lease to fill another need the Nets had. Sadly, it’s just another scenario for the greatest virtual team ever.

Claxton/Simmons case

Back to reality. A question heading into the season was whether Simmons and Nic Claxton would both be able to play side-by-side as non-shooting players, who could create aggressively spacing issues. Simmons got his first run with a small five ball on Wednesday in Milwaukee and saw more of it on Thursday.

The Brooklyn Core Five went into Thursday’s game with the worst plus/minus in the league. While it is difficult to quantify the statistic, it does point out some employee issues that fit the list. Claxton was the only player not to play more than 30 minutes on Thursday, and Nash played meager most of the game, leaving. Dyron Sharp On the seat. Nash tends to experiment with his lineups early in the season, and he admitted his incredible Simmons/Claxton play served as tentacles for that.

“I think we’re trying to look at different things, and free up these guys to be more specific and decisive in their roles,” Nash said. “When they’re there together there’s a lot of moving parts to pick up on the fly. I thought it gave Ben a chance maybe to be more aggressive in batches. It’s a challenge with guys outside the squad to get there. That’s probably been the booking so far this year, with guys in and out From the squad, how do we cross the line without overplaying everyone else.

“At the end of the night, you go into overtime and end up overplaying everyone else anyway. But yeah, that was trying to take a look. We have to develop both. Ben in the five is going to be part of our team going forward.”

Rebounding has been an issue for the nets, as well as dealing with some of the top league positions (see Stephen Adams at a loss on Monday in Memphis). It’s only five games and Marks and Nash have expressed confidence in their current personnel, but if the current questions solidify, it will lead to some tough rotation decisions moving forward.

Kerry block party

It’s early in the year, but thanks to Irving’s credit, he’s backed up a lot of what he said in pre-season after he sought a signature and trade this summer from the Nets. called summer Collection-I expected things You look ugly in Brooklyn before it becomes rosy. Recently, he also showed off parts of his game that he didn’t shine much before.

Irving had four blocks against the Mavericks to hit his career high which was set for nearly a decade Cleveland, in December 2013. Against Milwaukee, he had nine rebounds in the first half. Irving said on a media day that he knew his options were limited in the off-season and wanted to change the narrative around him. Nash has consistently said throughout his time in Brooklyn that Irving could be an effective defensive player if he so desired.

“I thought Kai had been fighting all year and really worked and tried to defend,” Nash said. “In the first half yesterday in Milwaukee, he got nine defensive rebounds, things we were really defending, to rebound collectively. When he does other things like that, you are really grateful for the performance. It’s not always about scoring. It’s about finding other ways to help Your team is doing it in different ways.”

When asked about his new role as edge protector, Irving laughed at the rating and repeated what Nash had said about his desire to make a defensive impact. He was quick to point out that the blocks might fluctuate, especially because the 6-foot-2 guard doesn’t pin the defense so low. Rudy Gobert Will be. It’s a long season and Irving still has a long way to go, but he’s played like someone chasing the maximum contract.

“I don’t think I’m catching any blocks over the edge, but I really do pay attention to detail when studying my opponents and maximizing the intangibles I have been blessed with,” Irving said. “Being able to have strong hands, being able to see where the ball is going to end up and get my hands on it. But this year I definitely want to play a full year on both ends of the floor. So I might challenge myself and end up with four blocks. But other times, games Others, they might be mistakes, who knows which direction it could go. I just want to stay aggressive.”

Heavy Squad Non-shooter is a hit

With Carey and Harris back in the lineup, Nash can probably hope his days of planning games with heavy non-shooter lineups will end. But throughout Thursday’s game, he had success with some of the players he sent off there. In the third quarter he owned the Nash Duke and Claxton Edmond Sumner and Simmons all over Durant, which worked great as the unit was able to generate stops and baskets. The unit shot 40 percent of the field and played inside itself.

Durant said he knows formations are designed to have defenses hanging off their leg and throwing everything in his face, but he credited players for filling in the gaps. Duke had five rebounds and pressed the edge while Sumner repeatedly attacked the basket and made it to the free throw line.

“I thought about energy and speed, and they were able to scramble defensively, go out and run and put pressure on them in the transition,” Nash said. “Two of these guys came and played good basketball with heart and desire and gave us the juice you wanted on the bench.”


(Photo by Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant and Keri Irving: Sarah Steer/Getty Images)

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