It might not be panic time just yet for the Brooklyn Nets, but it looks to be just about time for Kenny Atkinson and company to circle the wagons. With the high-flying Houston Rockets headed to town Friday, the Nets are in dire straits.
The offense looks disjointed and the defense was nowhere to be found yet again on Wednesday as an uneasy Barclays Center crowd watched the Nets fall to 1-2 on the young season. Kyrie Irving led the way for Brooklyn yet again with 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Scoring wasn't the issue for the Nets as Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in 20, Caris LeVert 15 and Joe Harris 13 in the losing effort.
Brooklyn had no answers on the defensive side of the ball as Domantas Sabonis dumped in 29 points and eight rebounds as the combination of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan put up little resistance. Jeremy Lamb poured in 25, Malcom Brogdon 21, and T.J Warren netted 20.
Indiana had four players score 20-plus points and they capitalized on 19 carless turnovers by the Nets. Irving had just one turnover for the night, while the rest of the team committed 18. Brooklyn's young core is showing growing pains and the sloppy play has been reflective on the record they're fashioning so far this season.
While the Nets are implementing seven new players into the team's rotation, defensive communication and offensive execution are not on point so far this year.
While the majority of the media and basketball fans will debate whether or not Irving's reported "mood swings" will drag down his teammates and the coaching staff, the floor general is doing everything in his power from scoring, rebounding, assisting and securing the basketball to lead his team to victory.
The rest of the squad needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror and clean up their act. The defense has been shoddy so far this year and the Rockets are fresh off a 159-158 win over the Wizards on Wednesday night. The way Houston's offense is clicking and Brooklyn's defense is floundering, the Rockets could approach the 200 point mark if things don't improve in a hurry for Atkinson's club.