Why the Nets’ offense crumbled in major letdown

by Editorial Team

The Nets dominated the Hornets in a pair of earlier wins and again in the first half Wednesday, but then Charlotte went zone — and a not-so-funny thing happened. The Nets’ perimeter game, which should have chased the Hornets right out of that zone, failed them.

“It was the zone that they went in. Once they went in that we couldn’t get our offense flowing. Credit to them,” said Jarrett Allen, who had 16 points and seven rebounds in a first half in which the Nets led by 11, but just five and three in the second half, in which they were outscored by 16 in a 113-108 loss at Barclays Center.

“I think it was the zone,” Allen said. “We were taking advantage of them being up on screens. You see a lot of us slipping to the rim and that’s putting them out of position for rebounding. But when they went into zone, they had all five in the paint ready to rebound.”

Not all that shocking. But watching the Nets shoot 33.3 percent in that second half — including a horrid 4 of 23 from 3-point range — was.

The Nets had just seven assists after the break and six turnovers. The ball stopped moving, and they went ice cold.

“We definitely got stagnant after they went to zone, which is pretty surprising with the caliber of shooters that we have on the team,” Spencer Dinwiddie said. “We just have to make quicker decisions as a unit to get those guys shots.

“When you have guys like Joe [Harris], [Garrett Temple] and Taurean Prince on the floor, we’ve got to get those guys shots. They’re phenomenal shooters. Nobody should be able to zone us, especially in our own house. We should be able to shoot them out of the thing. We just have to do a better job collectively.”

The Nets led by as many as 20 points before getting outscored 60-44 in the second half.

Theo Pinson had a season-high 12 points, matching the second-most he has scored in his career. … DeAndre Jordan pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds with nine points and a block in 22 minutes off the bench. … Joe Harris hit his 485th 3-pointer as a Net, tying him with Deron Williams for fifth place in team history.

Injured Kyrie Irving (shoulder) and Caris LeVert (thumb) have started to ramp up their on-court work, but neither has been cleared for contact.

Thursday marks the four-week mark for Irving. Coach Kenny Atkinson had said LeVert would miss five weeks, the guard is now just over four weeks and counting.

“Still the same timeline. He’s been on court working out. Wish I could [offer more details],” Atkinson said. “Non-contact stuff, but he’s been on the court, shooting and working. So I tend to stick with that timeline.”

LeVert hasn’t played since Nov. 10 at Phoenix. Irving’s last appearance — and comments to the press — came on Nov. 14 at Denver.

READ FROM SOURCE: https://nypost.com/2019/12/12/why-the-nets-offense-crumbled-in-major-letdown/

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