Turns out, size does matter in today’s NBA. And this is where the Nets have struggled heavily.
In the most recent loss of the four-game skid, Brook Lopez went off for 34 points and 10 rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting from three. Stretch bigs continue to hurt the Nets even more so than your traditional bigs. Lopez joins a group of five players that have scored 30 against them this season, which is tied with the Cavaliers for the most in the NBA.
Aside from getting beat down low and out on the perimeter, the Nets have been out-rebounded 214-177 during the losing streak, which means they’re getting out-rebounded by almost 10 boards per game. Ugly.
It hasn’t been easy for the injury-plagued Nets frontcourt early on. Their best stretch big, Quincy Acy, has missed the last three games with a left groin strain. Trevor Booker missed the game against Los Angeles due to a sore back. Acy practiced Sunday and Monday. Booker is still questionable. Meanwhile, rookie Jarrett Allen, who has looked solid protecting the rim, is expected to miss his third consecutive game Monday with a foot strain. All the evidence suggests the Nets performance team is just being extra cautious with the youngster.
It’s crucial that at least one or hopefully two of these guys suit up, as the Nets are already thin in the frontcourt even with them present.
“That hurt. Any time you lose three bigs, that’s not good,” Acy said. “Anytime anybody goes down they’re missed. Everybody brings something different to the table. Coach [Kenny Atkinson] expects me to stretch the floor, so when I’m out there I guess it does open up the floor a little bit. … You always need your bigs, so we’re going to be crucial to that.”
“We’ve had some injuries, so we had some different lineups out there, and sometimes guys don’t know where to be. Just making sure everybody’s on the same page,” Acy said of Brooklyn’s latest ‘training camp’ practice.
The Nets will face Phoenix at 9 p.m. ET on Monday night and look to end their losing streak. Their level of play has dropped significantly after the first five games of the season, perhaps because teams have exposed their biggest weakness ... in the front court.