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Turnovers creeping back as big Nets issue

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Brooklyn Nets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

It wasn’t pretty early Saturday night as the Nets starting unit gave up the ball early and often.

As Brian Lewis points out...

The Nets committed 10 turnovers less than 14 minutes into the game, which Minnesota turned into 16 points, as they fell into a 37-11 hole they never climbed out of.

Part of the issue of course is that Kenny Atkinson was missing three members of his rotation: D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. So the game was a mix-and-match affair, but still...

“It’s crept up again. We addressed it earlier in the year,” said Kenny Atkinson. “I thought we did a good job the first part of the year taking care of the ball. Now, we’re slipping again. Some of it is change of lineups, but we’ve got to be better fundamentally.”

The Nets are currently fifth in the league in giving the ball away. And as Atkinson said and Lewis details, the trend is not positive.

The Nets have committed double-digit turnovers in 14 straight games, and 20 of their last 21 coming into Tuesday’s meeting with the rival Knicks. The only one they didn’t? When they limited themselves to just nine on New Year’s Eve and almost knocked off the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics in Boston.

Spencer Dinwiddie, one of the league leaders all season in assist-to-turnover ratio, attributed to a lack of focus on how they are supposed to play the game.

“I think also we’ve got to kind of be who we are and do what we do,” said Dinwiddie who had 10 assists to two turnovers Saturday. “When we start to overpass or start to try to do some things out of character, that’s when we get ourselves into trouble. I think that’s what we’ve got to do, keep trusting in what it is that we’re supposed to do and just do our jobs.”