It has not been a bad season for the Brooklyn Nets, but the road appears to be bright on the other side. Since the start of March, Brooklyn has won four games and lost four games during that stretch by single digits. There has been a competitiveness to the team that was lacking for much of the season. This has allowed not only more wins, but the ability to stay close. The coming together of Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, and the crop of youngsters has given life to a team with no playoff aspirations. Even though we are in March, they are still learning to play with one another as they have not had much time on the court together.
Since March kicked off, Lin has averaged 15.6 points per game. His scoring was missed severely when he was out with injury. He has allowed Isaiah Whitehead to come off the bench where he has thrived. Unfortunately for the Nets, Lin has been hurt for a majority of the season and was forced to leave the game on Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks due to an ankle injury. It is unknown how long he will be out with a sprained ankle.
The steady force down low has done more than the organization could have hoped. The former all-star has been sensational no matter if Lin is in the lineup or not. It seems that every night Brook is putting up at least 20 points as he is by far the team’s leading scorer. Averaging 20.6 points per game, Lopez has changed his game to fit into coach Kenny Aktinson’s strategy. There was a major concern going into the season if Brook would be able to play in Atkinson’s offense, but he has proven his worth and is even shooting 35% from deep.
The young crop of Isaiah Whitehead, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Caris LeVert have all stepped up and improved. Whitehead has had his best scoring month in March averaging 9.7 points per game on the bench. His scoring has improved and he has looked more comfortable with the speed of the game. One area he needs to improve in is distributing the ball. In March he is only averaging 1.2 assists per game and as a point guard, he has to start looking to dish the ball as well as put it into the hoop. Arguably the most improvement has come from Hollis-Jefferson. He has been playing a majority of his minutes as a power forward and has flourished. Hollis-Jefferson has really come into his own over the last two months as he is averaging 9.6 points per game and 6.5 boards per game. His offensive game has improved as he is driving to the rim more and settling for jumpers less.
LeVert has the most scoring capabilities of the young core and is also having his highest scoring month in March. Averaging 23.9 minutes a game in March, he has tallied 9.4 points a game in that stretch. Caris has shown flashes of his potential, but he needs to become more consistent. Too often he will score double digits and follow that up with a game under five points. As the rookie gets more time, he will be able to fix this issue.
All these components coming together has allowed the Nets to be more competitive and shows that their future may be brighter than originally thought. If you would like to receive an email each time a new Brooklyn Nets article is published, fill out our email notification form.