The Brooklyn Nets got a little help on Friday night, as their starting point guard, Jeremy Lin, finally returned to action after missing 26 games. Finally. This, also, after a fairly quiet NBA trade deadline, in which the Nets made a few minor moves — albeit some nice moves — in continuing the task of rebuilding.
With those two nuggets of news behind us, it was onto Denver where the Nets lined up against the offensive force that is known as the Denver Nuggets.
This was only the 8th game in which the Nets had both Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin in the starting lineup together, with Brooklyn having won 3 of the previous 7 contests. Would they reach .500 with the Book-Lin duo on the court?
Nope. Not even close.
With Lin back in the lineup, the Nets got blitzed and blown out in Denver, losing 129-109.
How bad was it? Mike Miller played in this one for the Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic picked up two fouls in the first 2-plus minutes, forcing him to the bench early. Cool, right? Nope. The Nuggets, who trailed early, ripped off a 10-0 once Jokic went to the bench, as they just ran all over the Nets. These fast — or, small — Nuggets are in no way a good matchup for the Nets. The frantic pace isn’t a space where the Nets want to play in.
The Nuggets just took off, with their big stud on the bench, as the Nets struggled on both sides of the court for most of the first. The saving grace was that the fouls added up early, so the Nets were able to get to the line -- not that they hit their free throws, but... — this helped the Nets keep the game close enough, trailing 30-25 after one.
.@JLin7's first basket back is a ... ! #Nets pic.twitter.com/kc0Gh3eyZZ— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 25, 2017
The other thing Lin’s return does for the Nets is move Isaiah Whitehead to the bench, meaning, they have a suitable backup point guard. Whitehead was a nice spark off the bench, providing some pace for the second unit. The problem. though, is that the Nuggets are pretty deep — enough to where their second unit contains a number of guys who would likely start if they were members of the Brooklyn Nets.
Mason Plumlee was fantastic for the Nuggets in the first half off the bench, posting six points, eight rebounds and six assists in 11 first half minutes. He filled in nicely for Jokic who was ineffective.
The Nets did their best to stick with the Nuggets, but they could not pace with them. They put up 53 points in the first half on 50 percent shooting but still, still trailed the Nuggets by double-digits at halftime, 64-53.
Brook Lopez had just eight points in the first half, while Trevor Booker went for 11 points and six rebounds in 14 minutes.
Stop me if you heard this one before, but the Nets came out and struggled in the third quarter, allowing for the Nuggets to pull away early on. The Nuggets led by as much as 27 points late in the third.
Brooklyn allowed 101 points to the Nuggets through three quarters. Gross.
Thank you for stopping through Denver, please arrive home safely — or, in this case, good luck in Golden State tomorrow night.
The fourth quarter was just as bad, as the Nets’ poor performance carried over. They ultimately fell to the Nuggets, 129-109.
Lin finished with seven points and five assists in 15 minutes. Lopez had 17 points and, yes, one rebound. After the game, he gave his own assessment...
Thankful for the "little" things i often take for granted, like my health! Gonna keep working til we get it right #BrooklynGrit— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) February 25, 2017
Onward and upward.
For more on the Nuggets, see: Denver Stiffs.
Next up for the Nets is, gulp, a road game on Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors.
- Box Score: Denver Nuggets 129, Brooklyn Nets 109 - NBA.com
- Chandler’s put back dunk (Video) - NBA.com
- Good ball movement by Nuggets (Video) - NBA.com
- Harris hat trick (Video) - NBA.com
- Plumlee to Harris for three (Video) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Nets lose to Nuggets (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson gets to 10 points in fourth quarter (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Block by Harris (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Whitehead scores (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Block by Lopez (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Lopez from deep (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Foye pulls up (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Post Game Plus: BKN@DEN (Video) - Chris Shearn - YES Network
- Nets get back to work (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Jeremy Lin Highlights (Video) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? Tobias Paul Beckett (Video) - YES Nework
- Caris LeVert reflects on loss (Video) - YES Network
- Lopez on Nets' teamwork (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson after loss in Denver (Video) - YES Network
- Harris scores 25 points in Nuggets' 129-109 win over Nets - Dennis Georgatos - AP
- Return of Jeremy Lin has little effect in Nets' blowout loss to Nuggets - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Jeremy Lin makes a cameo — and the Nets get demolished - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets continue their All-Star break mentally, blown out by Nuggets (Game Grades) - Justis Doucet - The Brooklyn Game
- Nuggets bounce back with balanced, high-scoring effort, deal Brooklyn Nets 15th straight loss - Nick Kosmider - Denver Post