The Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks meet tonight in a battle for supremacy. With both teams at 7-9, we need to see three things from each team if they want to come out on top: 1) More consistency from Dennis Schroder2) A dominating performance by Brook Lopez3) Dwyane Wade not playing like he is 41
The “nets millsap” is a player that the Brooklyn Nets need to have in order to beat the Atlanta Hawks. The three things that they need to see from him are his defense, his rebounding, and his leadership.
The Brooklyn Nets (4-3) are presently ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference. They’ve won three of their previous four games, including two consecutive victories. They played well together in their past two games, victories over the Pacers and Pistons, and the shots were falling. But they’ll have a tougher challenge on Wednesday when they face the Atlanta Hawks, the Eastern Conference runner-up who reached the final four in 2022 under Trae Young’s leadership.
If the Nets want to win their third game in a row and avoid dropping back to.500 in the standings, they’ll need to do three things.
The Keys To A Win In The Nets-Hawks Game In Brooklyn
3) A front-court player who contributes to the team’s success.
The Nets will turn to their bench for front court action with Nic Claxton (who has drawn starts earlier this year) poised to miss some time with a non-COVID sickness. Blake Griffin, one of the few holdovers from last year’s playoff rotation, was expected to step up. Griffin isn’t off to a fantastic start, but his head coach Steve Nash isn’t concerned, saying that such things are to be anticipated. Instead, it’s been LaMarcus Aldridge who has led them to victories in crucial situations. LMA has reached a huge milestone, surpassing 20,000 career points.
He’s shooting a whopping 34-of-50 from the field for a 68 percent clip. Defenses have had a hard time dealing with his signature midrange onslaught. In terms of three-point shooting, he doesn’t completely stretch the floor, but he gives opposing bigs enough cause to leave the paint in order to take away his jump shot. When they don’t, and instead opt to defend the rim, Aldridge feasts by banging down 20-footers.
In three of his six outings, Aldridge has scored at least 16 points, and he’s hit the 20-point mark twice. Another strong performance from Aldridge would be additional proof that he’s shaping up to be a crucial element of this front court, something no one predicted when he suddenly quit last season.
However, if either Blake Griffin or Paul Millsap were to step up instead, head coach Steve Nash would have even more ammunition from the huge rotation going ahead.
2) Maintain the improved rebounding against a strong opponent.
The Nets have…rebounded (excuse me) admirably in the rebounding category after being battered on the boards in their defeat to Miami. A few games ago, the Heat outboarded Brooklyn 62-42, with 17 of those offensive rebounds amounting to a 31-4 edge in second-chance points. That’s a near-perfect formula for an L, so they went with it.
In the next two games, though, they outboarded their opponents in both Indiana and Detroit. Coach Nash has stressed the necessity of gang-rebounding and not leaking out searching for fast-break opportunities until the ball has been secured. It seems that the squad has taken his counsel in that regard. For most teams, the Heat provide a unique obstacle. With 62.3 boards per game, Miami leads the conference.
Atlanta isn’t nearly as excellent as the Heat, but they do rank 8th in total boards per game and third in offensive (13.3). So if the Nets score some early stops, it’ll be a good test to see whether they can clean up the boards against a club that thrives on second chances.
1) The Beard’s Burst of Energy
When you consider how much has been made of James Harden’s poor start, it’s hard to believe we’re just seven games into the season. Given how much time he spent away from full-court basketball due to the hamstring ailment, Harden stated after a recent victory that he anticipated to start slowly. You may have also heard about how the new rule changes have impacted him.
It’s reasonable to anticipate that he’ll need some time to return to All-NBA form. However, there have been glimmers in the previous two games. Harden had a career-high 19 free throw attempts against Indiana last week, and he had a triple double after three quarters in a victory against the Pistons.
The Nets shouldn’t expect him to play at this level every night…yet. They should limit his minutes in the early stages of the season while he adjusts to the NBA grind. Last season, they were careful with Kevin Durant’s minutes, and it makes sense to do the same with Harden’s. But the fact that he’s looked as swift and explosive as he has in the previous two games is a huge plus.
Beyond merely defeating the Hawks and winning their third straight game, Harden looking like All-NBA Harden for three consecutive games would be a huge boost for this squad.
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