3 Nets takeaways from Game 1 loss to Sixers

The Brooklyn Nets fell 121-101 to the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday in Game 1 of the first round before a raucous crowd at Wells Fargo Center. Brooklyn entered the series with an 0-4 record against Philadelphia in the regular season, struggles that translated to Saturday’s playoff opener.

Here are three takeaways from Brooklyn’s Game 1 loss to the 76ers.

3. Mikal Bridges shines bright in first Brooklyn playoff appearance

If you attempted to find two words to describe the Nets’ offense Saturday, you wouldn’t have looked further than Mikal Bridges. The breakout Net scored 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 from three in his playoff debut as a lead option. Bridges scored 23 of those points in the first half.

Not sure how he got that to fall

23 in the first half for @mikal_bridges pic.twitter.com/HEEqOulLhE

— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 15, 2023

The performance marks the 26-year-old’s 12th game scoring 30-plus in 27 appearances with Brooklyn after reaching the total just three times in four and a half seasons with Phoenix. Bridges is averaging 26.3 points per game on 48/38/90 shooting splits with the Nets.

2. Rebounding and turnovers doom Nets

It’s no secret the Nets are a poor rebounding team. They rank 28th in defensive rebounding since the formation of their new-look roster. The boards were a main area of concern heading into the matchup with Philadelphia, and those concerns were more than justified Saturday.

The Sixers out-rebounded the Nets 15-4 on the offensive glass on their way to a 21-3 advantage in second-chance points.

The Nets desperately attempted to work through complex defensive rotations while trying to slow down Joel Embiid. Brooklyn switched screens, doubled with backside rotations and even threw in some zone. The result was a 26-point performance from Embiid on 7-of-15 shooting. However, all of that movement comes with a price. It was paid via the defensive glass.

On the other end, the Sixers scored 31 points off of 20 Nets turnovers. Spencer Dinwiddie accounted for four of those while struggling to find his offensive rhythm as Brooklyn’s lead ball handler.

1. Sixers give Nets a taste of their own medicine

Jacque Vaughn has made it clear since game one of the new-look Brooklyn era: The Nets are a three-point shooting team. Since the trade deadline, Brooklyn ranks sixth in three-point frequency, attempting 38.1 per game. During that span, the Nets are 7-0 when they’ve made 15 or more threes compared to 6-15 when they did not.

It was the 76ers who held the game-deciding advantage from beyond the arc in Game 1. Philadelphia shot an unconscious 21-of-43 (48.8 percent) from deep in the win. They attempted 14 more triples than Brooklyn (13-of-29), an advantage primarily attributed to their ability to grab offensive boards and force turnovers.

scores our 8th three of the game. pic.twitter.com/qAT1DtD8Vl

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 15, 2023

That lights-out shot-making also translates to the Nets’ low three-point volume. Joe Harris pointed to Brooklyn’s transition offense earlier this week as the key to unlocking their three-point potential.

“I think the biggest thing will be our ability to get out in transition,” he said. “A lot of times those transition attempts do turn into good three-point looks. So they’re kinda definitely correlated.”

Philadelphia ranks 25th in transition defense this season. A good way to prevent having to defend in transition? Rebounding the basketball, not turning it over and making shots. The Sixers excelled in all three of those areas Saturday, sending the Nets to a blowout loss in Game 1.

The post 3 Nets takeaways from Game 1 loss to Sixers appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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