The Brooklyn Nets won their home opener Friday night defeating the Indiana Pacers, 126-121. The Nets battled extremely hard and there were signs of some of the problems that plagued them last year being a thing of the past. They finished possessions, and were able to push the pace off makes and misses. The season got off to a rocky start Wednesday night when the Nets lost to the Pacers and lost starting point guard Jeremy Lin to a season ending torn patella tendon. Friday’s win was a nice way to end the night after receiving the positive news that Lin had successful surgery.
But the season must go on and the Nets must have different players step up to fill the void left by Lin. GM Sean Marks may consider applying for the disabled player exception to help fill the need, but the roster has guys that need to step up. Friday night, Spencer Dinwiddie and Trevor Booker were big contributors. So to was second year guard Caris LeVert who was a +12, scored 9 points, and had 2 steals. With Lin gone for the year starting guard D’Angelo Russell will take on more of a scoring load and he is equipped to do so. But guys like Dinwiddie and LeVert will need to continue to step up and do what they are capable of.
Following the game I spoke to Caris about the win, his slow start after spraining his ankle in training camp, and what the team can do without Jeremy Lin. I also asked Caris if the Nets will be the best team in NYC this season.
Nets HC Kenny Atkinson while happy with the win sees a lot of room for improvement. This is a new group and with Lin out for the year, they need to develop a continuity on the offensive end. Defense was the story though from both LeVert and Atkinson, as the Nets have given up an average of 130 points in their first two games.