The Brooklyn Nets had the unwelcomed task of taking on one of the hottest teams in the NBA on Monday night as the Portland Trail Blazers graced the Barclays Center with their presence. Given the fortunes of these two teams early on, you might have thought this would be a blowout in favor of Portland, but the Nets came out firing.
After scoring 40 points in the first quarter, the Nets took a 63-56 lead into the half over the Blazers. A big reason why was the early play of Kevin Garnett, who has looked exceptionally old and ineffective for much of the start of the season. The start the game, Garnett shot 6-6 from the floor and helped steady Brooklyn’s offense in the early going.
As the game wore on, though, Garnett cooled, shooting just 2-13 for the rest of the evening, As the future Hall-of-Famer became less effective, so too did the Nets offense. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Blazers stayed in a groove and pulled away in the second half to ultimately notch a 108-98 win over the Nets, bringing Brooklyn’s record to a meager 3-7 through their first 10 games of the season.
Looking harder at KG, though, it’s nice to see flashes of his former self and to see him kind of get his offense going, but he has to sustain that type of play for the entirety of the time that he’s on the floor for. Even though he finished Monday night’s game shooting just 42.1 percent from the field on the night, his percentage for the year will still rise as it sat at just 30 percent coming into tonight.
When you think about it, the first half of this game against the Blazers confirmed what we expected about the Nets. This team was built with star power, but banked on the idea that Garnett would be able to perform well. When he did early in tonight’s game, so did the Nets. When he started to struggle, though, the Nets lost the lead. It’s a pretty simple recipe at this point.