Giving up 149 points to opponents is not a winning formula in today’s NBA and that is exactly why the Brooklyn Nets lost on Sunday. The Wizards, who at one point in the game were down 18 points defeated the Nets in a crushing fashion. The game seemed to be all but over after Kyrie Irving hit a pair of free throws to put the Nets up by five with just eight seconds left in the fourth quarter but poor defense and silly turnovers by the Nets continue to cost them games. In the final seconds, Bradley Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer came down virtually untouched and drilled a three. Not even three seconds later Nets forward Joe Harris turned the ball over on the inbound pass to Russell Westbrook who hit a wide-open go-ahead three over Irving with 4.8 seconds left. Brooklyn would not regain the lead.
Kyrie Takes Accountability for Poor Defense
A recurring theme for the Nets this season has been their poor defense. Kyrie spoke on what he as well as the team needs to do to improve on the defensive side of the ball following Sunday’s loss. “It’s a tough night when you’re giving up that many points, and it’s a tough night when you’re not particularly doing the little things that could create some separation down the stretch,” Irving told reporters over Zoom after the game via SNY Twitter. “We had that game; it should’ve been ours. We just look at ourselves in the mirror and see what we can correct as individuals and as a group, especially on the effort. I could not guard a stick today. Those guys were just going right around me, and I was getting frustrated a little bit, but they kept attacking and that’s what good teams to and good scorers do.”
Joe Harris Details Costly Turnover
James Harden was originally was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Washington but was later ruled out due to a left thigh contusion he suffered against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris filled the absence of Harden in a big way scoring 30 points including eight threes. Harris however may have had the costliest turnover of the night on the inbound pass that resulted in Westbrook’s go-ahead three in the final seconds of the quarter. “Dumb mistake on my part,” Harris said on a Zoom call with reporters via Nets Wire. “Trying to get the ball out quick, get it to Kevin. And it is one of those things where he was cutting to the rim and I was kind of throwing the ball where I thought he was going to be going. I had a time out, should have been more cognizant of it, and just taken care of the ball.”
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The Nets have been the best and worst of both worlds this season. According to Stat Muse, the Nets have an offensive rating of 122.6 which is the best in the league and if the season ended today would be the best of all time. On the other side of the spectrum, Brooklyn Also has a defensive rating of 119.9 which is the worst in the league and would be the worst of all time if the season ended today.
The Nets showed that they aspire to win now after selling their future for a current star in Harden. Kyrie knows that to compete for a title, they cannot put out any more performances like the one they did against the Wizards. “It seems like every game, we’re battling some things that the game’s flow could bring you. Whether it is some calls going your way, whether it be some high-scoring quarters,” Kyrie Irving told reporters on a Zoom call via Nets Wire. “They scored 48 in the fourth quarter. I don’t know if we’re going to get many wins if allow 48 points in any quarter.”