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Nets improve to 2-0 in preseason play with 107-88 victory over Miami

NBA: Preseason-Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — It’s only preseason, but the Nets look like a ton of fun.

The Brooklyn Nets improved to 2-0 in the preseason with a 107-88 victory over the Miami Heat Thursday night at Barclays Center. Last year, the Nets didn’t get two wins in a row, preseason or regular season, until March 23.

It was all good from the start for the Nets, who put up 33 points in the opening quarter and led by double digits in no time. They kept it consistent throughout the game, but more importantly they played solid defense. They held Miami to no more than 25 points in a quarter. They also outrebounded the Heat, 62-37 (not a typo).

The Nets led by double digits most of the game, but broke it open in the third quarter when they went up by 20. Jeremy Lin facilitated Brooklyn’s high-octane offense and scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10 points, eight rebounds) did the dirty work and helped push the tempo as well.

The most impressive thing with this Nets team so far, isn’t their three-point shooting, but rather the high intensity no matter who’s playing. Guys like RHJ, Quincy Acy, Trevor Booker, DeMarre Carroll have all been chasing after loose balls and running the break. The frontcourt duo of Timofey Mozgov, Hollis-Jefferson, and Carroll had eight rebounds apiece.

Simply put: this team looks like they mesh very well in Kenny Atkinson’s system.

“I think that speaks to when you have depth and balance,” Atkinson said after the game. “I think that’s how we’re going to have to do it. It’s going to be a balanced effort.”

And, they did all this while D’Angelo Russell struggled a bit, shooting 4-of-14 from the floor, including 1-of-7 from deep. What does that tell you? Russell is probably going to get most of the shots on the team, but other guys will score and pick up the load should he or any of the main guys have an off-night. It’s the team-oriented ball this team plays.

The key, however, was the defense, which led to opportunities in the open court for the fast-paced Nets. They scored 27 points off turnovers and nailed 10-of-30 from deep. Even Mozgov hit a three-pointer! Over two games, they’re shooting 42 percent from deep.

And so, it was another good night for the Nets and a good night for the Brooklyn crowd.

“Great. Great atmosphere. Glad we gave them what they wanted. It was fun,” Russell said on playing his first game in Brooklyn.


  • Isaiah Whitehead didn’t check in until the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter. He logged most of his minutes with the G League guys.
  • Jarrett Allen isn’t putting up crazy numbers, but his impact is very clear. VERY clear. His wingspan makes it hard for him to miss. Give him some time and he will be a serious rim protector.
  • The Nets continue to look good moving the ball and knocking down the three-ball with Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert sitting out. Crabbe was the second most efficient three-point shooter in the NBA last year, and it’s safe to say he’s going to look very good in this offense.
  • Quincy Acy is that system-fit guy. He enters the game and immediately sparks the club with his high intensity and efficient three-point shooting. Another good pick-up for Marks.
  • Other than Mozgov, the four other starters all logged just about 24 minutes. Tyler Zeller got his first minutes at Barclyas and scored eight points in six minutes while grabbing two rebounds. He did have three turnovers.
  • The two teams combined for 45 turnovers, many on traveling calls, which appears to be a point of emphasis for the league this season.

The Nets play the Knicks again, this time at Barclays, on Sunday night.