The Brooklyn Nets have grown accustomed to poor starts, but despite battling an early road deficit in Portland on Monday night, it was a disastrous third quarterback that cost the Nets against a shorthanded Blazers team.
The Nets were without James Harden, who missed the game with hyperextension of his left knee. In his absence, Kyrie Irving played 40 minutes in his second appearance of the season, finishing with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Rookie Cam Thomas – fresh off his winner earlier this week – delivered a solid performance off the bench with 21 points in 26 minutes.
A Nic Claxton dunk seconds into the third quarter gave Brooklyn a nine-point lead, but the Blazers came back with a bang, passing the Nets 32-19 in the quarter to lead 87-81 by the end of the third. The Nets defense couldn’t stop Anfernee Simons, Ben McLemore and CJ Elleby in the fourth quarter, and Portland held on for a surprise 114-108 win.
Here’s what fans and analysts were saying about Monday’s game.
Final: The nets fall to the Blazers 114-108. Another bad loss against a team that is currently a shell of itself. The nets let slip another lead at half-time. KD and Kyrie combined for 50. Cam and Day’Ron had a combined 35. Brooklyn’s defense continues to struggle.
– Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) January 11, 2022
There is no sense of urgency in Brooklyn.
From Steve Nash down, the team is feeling too relaxed. The defense slipped. Attention to detail is lacking.
I understand that the regular season isn’t the most important for teams like the Nets, but the Nets still have a lot to prove.
– Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) January 11, 2022
Kyrie Irving scores 22, replies Billups calling him “the most skilled playmaker” of all time:
“I really appreciate the praise and totally agree that my skill level at this point in my career deserves this recognition. But the work never stops ” pic.twitter.com/KLQfSU5c8T
– Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 11, 2022
Since Christmas, the Nets are 12th in attack (114 points per 100 possessions) and 27th in defense (giving up 114.9 points per 100 possessions).
Clearly and simply, they are playing average to horrible basketball.
– Jac Manuell (@JacManuell) January 11, 2022
The defense was still wrong. Nets need to shuffle the list to add a bunch of shots and stop trying to be something they’re not
They are an elite offensive team when in good health that can get timely saves. Not a defensive-minded team like Nash said. https://t.co/2tPnRqlLdd
– BKN 85 (@ brooklynnets85) January 11, 2022
Two Notes from Nash: 1. On Kyrie’s ankle injury – “We’ll see.” Said Kyrie twisted her ankle pretty well in the 4th quarter. 2. Nash says the Nets will find a game for KD to rest in the near future after the long minutes – but he’s on track to play in Chicago on Wednesday.
– Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 11, 2022
Kyrie Irving: “I’ll be available for Chicago.”
– Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) January 11, 2022
More like the Ferrari you keep in your vacation home in the Hamptons, which you only take out a few times a month because it’s inconvenient to drive around town. https://t.co/lRZbDRlcJx
– Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) January 11, 2022