Nets’ struggles in opposition to prime NBA groups continues with house loss to Bucks

New 12 months, identical Nets? 

The Brooklyn Nets continued a worrying sample of failing to beat a contending NBA staff with their 121-109 loss to Milwaukee on the Barclays Middle on Friday night time. The Nets, who trailed by as a lot as 24 at one stage, now drop to 0-8 on the season in opposition to prime groups. 

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Brooklyn has now misplaced 5 consecutive video games on the Barclays Middle, and 4 of their final 5 altogether. Their final house win got here in opposition to the Sixers on December 16. 

“I do not anticipate us to have an important home-court benefit if we’re enjoying s—ty basketball,” said Kevin Durant post-game.

If the Nets need to compete for a championship then they are going to have to begin profitable a few of these video games in opposition to different championship-contending sides. After the loss in opposition to Milwaukee, which wasn’t as shut because the rating might point out, second-year head coach Steve Nash was asked what intangibles have been lacking this season. 

“You title it,” he mentioned. 

What’s most regarding for the Nets is, of the video games performed in opposition to ‘top-tier competitors’ they’ve misplaced six of the eight by double-digit figures, and one of many losses in single-digits (Phoenix) they have been down by as a lot as 22 earlier than making a late run when the sport was primarily over. 

The losses embody two in opposition to Chicago, and now two in opposition to Milwaukee. 

Durant completed with 29 factors, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, however James Harden had a tough taking pictures night time, ending with simply 16 factors (6-of-15 from the sector), 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

Harden, whom the Nets might want to produce to assist compensate for Kyrie Irving’s part-time standing, has an efficient subject purpose share of simply 40.7% in opposition to the very best groups.

The Nets want some solutions to those questions quickly.

What was as soon as a clear-cut favourite staff to win the East has now dropped to 3rd within the Convention, only one recreation forward of Miami in fourth. Brooklyn has a house recreation in opposition to the Spurs on Sunday, earlier than touring to Portland. 

Their first probability to play one of many prime eight with Kyrie Irving will likely be subsequent Wednesday in Chicago. Nothing in need of a formidable win will do. 

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