Preview: Nets aim to end recent skid against visiting Pacers

Brooklyn will want to avoid falling into a three-game losing streak when hosting Indiana

The Nets head into their three-game home stand hoping to get back on track after losing three of their last four games.

Brooklyn’s bad stretch reached its lowest point on Friday night in Toronto as the team lost 120-87 to the Raptors – it’s worst loss of the season. Aside from that defeat, the Nets have shown some positive signs, which is important for a team that values development.

Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas made their debut on Friday and showed where they could potentially make contributions in Kenny Atkinson’s system. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is quietly averaging 15.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1 block per game in December and Spencer Dinwiddie continues to impress with his NBA-leading assist-to-turnover ratio.

Still, offensive consistency and turnovers from the team overall remain a concern heading into Sunday’s game. The Nets will need to improve both if they want to even their season series against the Pacers – which would end a four-game losing streak against the team.

Here are the Three Biggest Storylines vs. Pacers:

Key Matchup: Allen Crabbe vs. Victor Oladipo

Oladipo might have already secured the Most Improved Player award in December. He’s been that good.

The athletic guard has shown flashes of his potential throughout his career and is one of the league’s top perimeter defenders, but there are few who would have expected him to average the almost 25 points a game he has since being traded to Indiana. That’s almost nine points above the fifth-year player’s career averages.

A big reason for his jump in offensive production is his improvement from behind-the-arc. He’s shooting over 42 percent from three this season, a big jump from the 34 percent he shot in his first three years in Orlando. It will be difficult assignment to contain a player who affects the game in so many ways.

The Nets hope the rest given Allen Crabbe (left knee soreness) will help him get back to his best. The 25-year-old had previously been on a cold spell, shooting just 18 percent in his last two games. When he’s at his best, Crabbe is one of the best three pointer shooters in the league as evidenced by his 42 percent three-point percentage in November.

How will Okafor and Stauskas Fare in Their Second Game?

Brooklyn fans got to see their new arrivals in action in the loss in Toronto on Friday. The fact that the game got away from the team early might have benefitted both players as they got extended minutes without much pressure.

Stauskas got plenty of attention after an impressive opening eight minutes of action, but Okafor also showed why he will be a valuable addition to Atkinson’s rotation. The center showed some good footwork when he got inside the paint and a willingness to shoot outside of it. As he gets used to Brooklyn’s pace of play and improves his positioning, he will likely gain more confidence.

Both players have generated plenty of excitement from Nets fans since the trade, which could bode well if they see action at Barclays Center on Sunday.

Nets Need to Focus on Keeping the Ball

In the last three games, Brooklyn is the third-worst team in the NBA in turnovers. The Nets gave away the ball 22 times in Toronto, which the Raptors converted into easy points. As Atkinson said after the loss against Atlanta on Dec. 2, it’s a “recipe for disaster.” 

With the Pacers having two ballhawks in the backcourt in Darren Collison and Oladipo, Brooklyn must improve its decision-making on the court to get a win. 

Projected Starters: Dinwiddie, Crabbe, Carroll, Hollis-Jefferson, Zeller

Injuries: D'Angelo Russell (left knee surgery) is OUT.

Brooklyn Nets Stat Leaders

Upcoming Summer League Games

2018-19 Season

Summer League

  • away game
    FridayFri Jul 06 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 80-86

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    S. Dawson
    19PTS
    Shawn Dawson
    S. Christon
    4ASTS
    Semaj Christon
    J. Webb III
    8RBS
    James Webb III
    NBA TV
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Jul 07 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 76-90

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    T. Pinson
    16PTS
    Theo Pinson
    J. McLaughlin
    6ASTS
    Jordan McLaughlin
    T. Thompson
    7RBS
    Trevor Thompson
    NBA TV
  • away game
    MondayMon Jul 09 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 69-78

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    Y. Watanabe
    14PTS
    Yuta Watanabe
    J. McLaughlin
    5ASTS
    Jordan McLaughlin
    J. Allen
    12RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    ESPNU
  • away game
    WednesdayWed Jul 11 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 102-109

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    M. Doyle
    21PTS
    Milton Doyle
    M. Doyle
    6ASTS
    Milton Doyle
    J. Allen
    11RBS
    Jarrett Allen
    ESPN 2
  • away game
    FridayFri Jul 13 Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
    L 79-116

    TEAM LEADERS OF THE GAME

    T. Davis
    19PTS
    Tyler Davis
    J. McLaughlin
    5ASTS
    Jordan McLaughlin
    T. Thompson
    9RBS
    Trevor Thompson
    ESPNU

Regular Season

  • away game
    WednesdayWed Oct 17 Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
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    FridayFri Oct 19 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
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    WednesdayWed Oct 24 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
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    WednesdayWed Dec 12 Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
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    SundaySun Dec 16 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    3:00pmET
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    TuesdayTue Dec 18 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    SundaySun Dec 23 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
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    7:30pmET
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    7:30pmET
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    WednesdayWed Jan 09 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    FridayFri Jan 11 Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
    7:30pmET
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    MondayMon Jan 14 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    WednesdayWed Jan 16 Toyota Center, Houston, TX
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    FridayFri Jan 18 Amway Center, Orlando, FL
    7:00pmET
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    MondayMon Jan 21 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    3:30pmET
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    WednesdayWed Jan 23 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
  • home game
    FridayFri Jan 25 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
  • away game
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    7:30pmET
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    TuesdayTue Jan 29 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    ThursdayThu Jan 31 AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
    8:30pmET
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    SaturdaySat Feb 02 Amway Center, Orlando, FL
    7:00pmET
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    MondayMon Feb 04 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    NBA TV
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    WednesdayWed Feb 06 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    FridayFri Feb 08 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    MondayMon Feb 11 Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
    7:30pmET
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    WednesdayWed Feb 13 Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
    7:00pmET
    ESPN
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    ThursdayThu Feb 21 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    SaturdaySat Feb 23 Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
    7:00pmET
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    MondayMon Feb 25 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    WednesdayWed Feb 27 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    FridayFri Mar 01 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    SaturdaySat Mar 02 AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
    7:30pmET
  • home game
    MondayMon Mar 04 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
    NBA TV
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Mar 06 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Mar 09 Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
    7:00pmET
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    MondayMon Mar 11 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
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    WednesdayWed Mar 13 Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
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    9:00pmET
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    SundaySun Mar 17 Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
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    10:00pmET
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    FridayFri Mar 22 Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
    10:30pmET
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    MondayMon Mar 25 Moda Center, Portland, OR
    10:00pmET
    NBA TV
  • away game
    ThursdayThu Mar 28 Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
    7:00pmET
  • home game
    SaturdaySat Mar 30 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    6:00pmET
  • home game
    MondayMon Apr 01 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Apr 03 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    7:30pmET
  • away game
    SaturdaySat Apr 06 Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
    5:00pmET
    NBA TV
  • away game
    SundaySun Apr 07 Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
    5:00pmET
  • home game
    WednesdayWed Apr 10 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
    8:00pmET

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