On the road, they go.
The Nets will face two familiar opponents who certainly have had their number in recent history. Tonight, Brooklyn visits Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, and later in the week visit Giannis and the Bucks.
If you're a fan of Brooklyn basketball you will certainly look at the schedule and always scratch and shake your head. The Nets have always had their struggles on the road, but especially in Memphis. Currently, a six-game losing streak heading in for the Nets and let's hope they break it.
Sitting with a 1-1 record the Nets can really look to make a statement tonight about being victorious. The Net's last matchup a 109-105 win at home against division rival Toronto Raptors was a gritty team win. Much of the criticism heard was the lack of defense on the perimeter and isolation in late-game situations. Most of the positives were the ball movement, rebounding, and of course limiting turnovers.
There is no question that having Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving making shots can certainly get late-game wins. However, Steve Nash has to really improve his decision-making when it comes to this flow of the offense to hold a lead and implement his sets. The nets had a ten-point lead, and it seemed a blowout was upon us. Yet, the Raptors did not give up and took what the Nets gave them. Nash, has got to understand and get his players to understand to lock in late and make better decisions and the importance of patience. Brooklyn, always seemed to be in a panic late when the ball does not go in the basket.
The turnovers, not running plays, and not committing to the defensive side of the ball late can hurt. These mistakes must be limited or minimal when playing the elite teams in this league. This is the first road trip of the season for Brooklyn. Hoping the road trip builds teams' chemistry with each other and that time can lead to trust on the floor. Comfort and confidence are consistent factors that the Nets can use consistently for a successful year.
Tonight will be a huge test. Looking forward to Ja Morant and the defensive plan. Ben Simmons has talked about his defensive mindset. Hopefully, Simmons can be smarter and limit his fouls while still being aggressive. It has been an issue and Simmons is better on the floor than off. Let's be honest, Ja Morant is a player who needs a whole team's focus not just one player. Be on the lookout for Royce O'Neale and Nicolas Claxton to be active as well with Morant. Communicating and help defense will be a huge factor.
Nash and company will need to set that tone of team defense and limit mistakes for the Nets to come away with a win. Let's hope the Nets start to figure it out and put together a whole complete game, as they look for their second straight win.