Here’s what Power Ranking pundits appear to be saying this week: Nice guys don’t finish last, but next to last? Oh yeah. The Nets, for the most part, are ranked No. 29, but are seen as a team and an organization trying, oh so hard, to get better. There are kudos for what Markinson are trying to do and about players like Sean Kilpatrick.
Meanwhile, they like we wait to see what will happen with Donatas Motiejunas and how Caris LeVert will do Monday night ... if he plays.
The Sean Kilpatrick Game (38 points - 31 after the third quarter) put an end to the Nets' losing streak in double-overtime. But Kilpatrick and Brook Lopez combined to shoot 15-for-52 (29 percent) in the Nets' two losses to the Bucks last week. Kenny Atkinson is trying to play a little more conservatively defensively, and that helped against Paul-Jordan pick-and-rolls on Tuesday, when the Clippers were held under a point per possession. But Brooklyn has still allowed 111 points per 100 possessions over its last five games.
We lamented in this cyberspace last week how hard it's been to watch Brooklyn lately ... so what happens? The Nets helped spark a week of absolutely zany scores by beating the Clippers in a double-overtime circus. Blake Griffin wasn't playing, true, but it was Brooklyn's first comeback from as many as 13 points down entering the fourth quarter since March 2012 -- after 77 consecutive losses in such circumstances. Nothing but props for Cinderella story Sean Kilpatrick and his 38 points in the victory.
They are just tough enough to force you to play hard and if you don't, there's a 50/50 chance they'll sneak up on you. The Nets are also surprisingly fun to watch, the league's biggest underdog.
It’s a strange thing to say, but as Sean Kilpatrick goes so go the Nets. When he is on the Nets can pick up wins, he dropped 38 on the Clippers and Brooklyn picked up an OT victory. Can he replicate that against Washington or Denver this week? They’ll need it as the Nets still have a bottom 5 defense to overcome nightly.
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (29)
Basically, the losing is kind of expected. It’s depressing, but not disastrous—the Nets knew they weren’t going to win games. They inked respectable veterans (Trevor Booker, Randy Foye) to decent contracts, were careful not to tie up too much long-term cash, and understood that they have to wait out the whole not-having-lottery-picks problem. It’s an organizational instance where information gathering tends to take precedence over results, so anything positive or negative they can wean about their slew of young guys (Kilpatrick, Whitehead, LeVert, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson) is still progress.
Moke Hamilton, Basketball Insiders (26)
The Nets snapped their seven-game losing streak in dramatic fashion, getting 38 points and 14 rebounds from Sean Kilpatrick en route to erasing a double-digit deficit versus the Clippers on Tuesday night. The 127-122 overtime win was impressive, but unfortunately, still only counts once.
Grant Hughes, Bleacher Report (29)
The fun of a three-heavy offense led by a revamped Brook Lopez has mostly worn off. In its place is a gloomy realization that no amount of strategic offensive growth is enough to offset a defense that does everything poorly.
Yes, Brooklyn notched a major upset against the Los Angeles Clippers, getting 38 points from Sean Kilpatrick in that 127-122 stunner. But the Nets' Tuesday win merely ended a seven-game slide—one fueled by high three-point-attempt totals allowed and zero rim defense.
AJ Neuharth-Keusch, USA Today (28)
It's yet another lost season for the Nets, who have lost nine of their last 10 games. Looking at the glass half full, this week's lone win came against our No. 3-ranked Clippers in double overtime.