Only three players for the Brooklyn Nets broke into double digits last night, none of whom eclipsed the 20-point mark. However, nine of the players on their 13-man roster scored more than eight points in a 112-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Unfortunately for the Nuggs, this game was over by the first quarter. Putting up a measly eight points to start out the game gave them little hope of making a comeback. The high point man of the night was Paul Pierce, who put up 18. But it was the all around contribution of the team that really helped the Nets cruise to victory. The Nuggs shot an abysmal 37 percent from the field to Brooklyn's 47 percent, while also going 23-33 from the foul line, to the Nets' 24-29.
The final score indicates there were SOME signs of hope in last night's battle, as a 23-point victory seems almost within reach, but this was a complete blowout. For teams like Brooklyn, who just came off a 44-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers the night before, and the Nuggets who are coming off their worst stint of the season, losing 9 of their last ten; both teams seem to be meeting at crossroads in the season. Each have struggled to find their mid season form and consistently battle to stay alive in the playoff picture.
Luckily for the Nets, the Eastern Conference is incredibly weak this season as 10 of the 15 teams in the conference have a record below .500, including the Nets, and yet they find themselves at the 6 seed. The Nuggets sit in a different boat as they garner the eleven seed in the West, but would have a fighting chance for the eight seed if they were placed in the East.
Both teams hold little chance of furthering themselves this season as the Nuggs have struggled with multiple losses of key players to injury and trades early on. The Nets have had troubles of their own, springing from a player turned head coach seemingly unprepared, to a lack of team chemistry on a roster of "has-beens."
What does this game tell us about the NBA? Very little, if anything at all. It tells us that the East is extremely weak and there are few powerhouses left in the league today. But it also says there is always room for improvement. Look at the Blazers, who went 33-49 last year and now have the sixth best record in the entire league. A lot can change in a year.