NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets have had a better start to this season considering all of the injuries that they’ve had to deal with unless with the tough schedule. However, at some point, the Nets will have to be able to win games against their tougher opponents if they are going to be in the postseason.
“We gotta dance in the storm,” Lonnie Walker IV said after scoring 26 points in Sunday’s 121-99 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Sunday was the fourth time that Walker scored over 20 points this season, tying him with Dallas Mavericks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. for the most 20-point games for any player off the bench this season. As great as Walker played, Brooklyn could not get back into the game.
“The game’s all about runs,” Walker explained. “You get punched in the face, you know? Instead of us backpedaling, we continue to fight. We can’t put our heads down or be upset. Don’t think about the last possession, just keep on moving forward.”
One thing that was noticeable from Sunday’s loss was how physical Philadelphia was being with Brooklyn starting with the last four minutes of the second quarter, when the 76ers went on a 20-5 run to go into halftime leading 61-49. The issue was, the Nets were unable to provide a counterpunch against the favored 76ers no matter how hard they tried.
Brooklyn had a similar issue happen to them in their loss to the Miami Heat where a similar run seemingly put the game out of reach from that point forward. Walker believes that the Nets have a solution for that. “I think it all starts with just trying to be more defensive minded, including myself. Not let our offense dictate our defense, let our defense dictate our offense, which (is) what we’ve been doing,” Walker said.