Heading into Wednesday night, the Brooklyn Nets have lost three games against the Indiana Pacers by a combined 25 points, none more than the 12-point defeat on December 17. The Nets trailed by only seven points with less than five minutes to go, but the Pacers got the upper hand late.
The Nets, currently in a season-worse stretch of 10 losses in 11 games, are hopeful for any kind of a win, rather than a close loss, in the fourth match-up between the two Wednesday night, and they kind of have to be, because, what’s the alternative? Despair going into the All-Star Break?
“I think we match-up well with them,” said Allen Crabbe, who’s averaged 25.7 points a game over the last three losses following Wednesday’s early shoot around at Barclays Center.
“I think (tonight is) really important for us. It’s been a struggle with the injuries and different rotations. Not saying that is an excuse for us but we really haven’t had 100 percent, guys have been hurt all season and we’ve been trying to make the adjustments needed in order to win. I think that this win tonight is really going to be good momentum going into the second half of the season. Our biggest focus is to continue to stay together.”
Spencer Dinwiddie echoed Crabbe’s sentiments of optimism and a necessity for tonight to go in the Nets’ favor before the upcoming All-Star break.
“Going into the break, it’ll be great to go in on a high note, with a win, and everybody is kind of … hopefully relaxed a little bit, recharged a little bit, with a win in the back pocket,” he said. “(We need) just one more stop, hopefully a good start to this game, extra intensity, extra focus. Overall, coach is always pretty positive but he stresses what we need to work on. He wants us to improve, he wants us to do better. None of us are satisfied where we are.”
Joe Harris even added that Kenny Atkinson’s been ‘loose and light,’ while simultaneously being ‘intense’ in spots.
“The last couple of days we didn’t really have an intense practice or anything like that yesterday,” said Harris. “He (Atkinson) wants guys fresh and recovered from today’s game. I think we’re locked in for Indiana. It’s huge for us in terms of just trying to go into the All-Star break on a good note with some momentum, especially since our last 11 games have been a struggle for us. For us to get one tonight would be huge momentum wise and confidence wise.”
While a lot of teams see the All-Star Break as the mid-way point of the season, for those who don’t have playoffs on the horizon, it’s actually the two-thirds mark. Not a lot of time left to show their stuff.