Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend, right?
So what's eight?
That's the number of times this year the New Jersey Nets have gotten good contributions from either Anthony Morrow or Travis Outlaw while the other struggled at the same time.
In games in which Outlaw has scored at least 17 points, Morrow has averaged 6.2 points. When Morrow has had at least 17, Outlaw has averaged 6.5. There have been three instances of both men struggling at the same time, but that has not happened since very early in the year.
A recent seven-game stretch from Nov. 5-17 featured the hot-and-cold play in each contest. During this span, the successful player shot 60 percent and averaged 22.4 PPG while the down man averaged 5.7 PPG on 26.4 percent shooting.
Until the 17th, neither man had double-digit shot attempts in the same game. In New Jersey's two most recent contests in Sacramento and Denver, both had at least 10 attempts and both scored in double figures both times.
Morrow came out the better in those two games, scoring a combined 29 points and shooting 50 percent while Outlaw totaled 25 points on 40 percent shooting.
It could be that the team needs to make sure both men are getting involved early. If that's the case, though, they need to make sure they're knocking down their shots.
Morrow got it done in the past two games, but Outlaw was a combined 2-for-11 on threes. Outlaw is a career 38 percent 3-point shooter, so he needs to hit on a higher percentage of open three-point shots.
Regardless, the last two games were better for the team than the "one up, one down" style the two had been playing.
The Nets have to hope it was a sign of things to come and not just a coincidence.
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