Brooklyn needed the All-Star break to regroup, as they fell in their final three games in blowout fashion. They also used the break to make some moves to help them make a push towards the playoffs. The Nets made a headline trade during the deadline sending away veteran Kevin Garrnet back to Minnesota for Thaddeus Young.
The Nets clearly got the better end of the deal as Garnett, who has had a Hall of Fame career, is simply not the same player he once was. He is averaging just 6 points and 6 rebounds a game. It was nice trade for the Timberwolves to bring back Garnett to the place where his career started, for 12 years Garnett dominated there. Young on the other hand could have a huge impact on the Nets making the post season.
Young is averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. And at 26 years old, he has a lot more basketball in him than Garnett does. Young has proved to be a strong offensive threat in this league, he established that in his days with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Brooklyn needed a consistent scoring threat, and Young fits that role perfectly. Young is a guy that you can count on each night. He may not be a guy that can light up the scoreboard, but you know he is going to score 15 to 18 points a night. That is more offense than Garnett could provide.
The Nets began the second half of the season winning 2 out of the first 3 games. They beat the Lakers 114-105 on February 20, they beat Denver Nuggets 110-82 on February 23, and they lost to the Pelicans 102-96 on February 25.
Now both wins were not against great teams, but the Nets need any wins as they can get, especially against the lower tier teams. The loss to the Pelicans is tough because they were not able to take advantage of a depleted team that is playing without Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson.
Defensively against the Lakers and the Nuggets, they did a great job of getting into their man which forced the teams to have tough nights offensively. Especially the Nuggets, who only shot 33 percent from the field.
However, in the game against New Orleans, their defense just wasn’t there. They allowed the Pelicans to shoot 51%. They allowed Quincy Pondexter to have a field day, as he dropped the game high 25 points. They also struggled defending the three ball, as the Pelicans were 11 for 25, which is 44 %.
Young made his debut for the Nets against the Lakers, he only played 12 minutes but scored 8 points and snagged 3 rebounds. His production picked up in the next two games, he played 24 minutes against the Nuggets scoring 15 points with 5 boards. And against the Pelicans, his effort helped the Nets have a chance to win with this one, scoring 19 points and 5 boards in 28 minutes.
Young is great for the Nets, he is the bench player they needed all year. The Nets had one of the worst benches in the game and now they have a threat with Young coming into the games. There is no question the Nets made a great trade.
Brooklyn has a tough stretch the next three games, as they are playing some powerhouses in the Western Conference that includes the Houston, Dallas, and Golden State. Brooklyn is going to have to really buckle down to get through this brutal series of games.
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