Kyrie Irving Leads Nets To Blowout 108-86 Win Over Trae Young-less Hawks
In a wire-to-wire win the Nets blowout the Hawks 108-86 at Barclays Center on Sunday evening. What was as equally impressive as the final score though is how in his first game back Kyrie Irving looked as if he hadn’t missed a game all season, despite having missed 26 thus far.
Uncle Drew (as they call him) not only had a few highlight plays reminding us all why they brought him to the Nets, but he also had a superb shooting night. Irving shot an impressive 10-11 from the field and made the only three-pointer that he took, totaling 21 points in 20 minutes.
“I really missed the game of basketball and I’m grateful to be out here,” said Irving. “I just work on my game diligently, but you have nights like this but coming back with my teammates having the support of them and having my family here is always a great joy. I love the game man, I missed it so much.”
It wasn’t just Irving though. For the second straight game Brooklyn had six players score in double figures, four of them from the starting lineup.
In addition to the shared scoring load, the Nets as a team did something very impressive and that’s shoot 53.2% from the field. They haven’t shot over 50% FG since November 22 when they shot 50.6% FG against the Sacramento Kings.
Although already ranked 2nd in the league in rebounding (averaging 48.9 RPG), Brooklyn exceeded their average and outhustled Atlanta on the boards 62-33.
Lastly, even though the Nets coughed up the ball more than Atlanta, having 26 turnovers compared to the Hawks’ 12, Brooklyn made the most of it by scoring 23 points off of those 12 turnovers.
Needless to say this game gave the Nets a much-needed boost as they’ve now won two straight after dropping seven in a row. However there are a couple of things to keep your eye on if you’re the Nets or fans of the Nets.
Firstly, this was the first game of the season that Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie started together. In Irving’s absence, Dinwiddie averaged 24.8 PPG in those 26 games. Tonight he only scored seven points. That’s something to watch as both players are going to be relied heavily upon in this first year without Kevin Durant on the court. So they’re going to have to learn how to be effective together in order for the team to reach their maximum potential.
Also 26 turnovers is something that can't happen. The Nets are already at the bottom of the league in that category, averaging 16 a game (ranked 27th).
Besides that the Nets had it going for them in this game and can definitely build off of this win as their next five matchups are against the Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers (twice), Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, teams well over .500.