The Brooklyn Nets have hopes of competing for an NBA championship this season. But after Tuesday's 23-point opening-night loss to the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn clearly has some things to work on.
Nets head coach Steve Nash told reporters after the game that his team is lacking "clarity and cohesion."
Kevin Durant led Brooklyn with 32 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Patty Mills scored 21 off the bench on 7-for-7 shooting from three-point range. James Harden added 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Outside of Mills, Nets bench players combined for just four points.
Brooklyn will need more production out of some of its veterans. Blake Griffin was held to six points as he spent most of his night defending Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 32 points and 14 rebounds. Former All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap barely produced in limited action off the bench.
The Nets were out-rebounded 54-44 and had 12 turnovers compared to the Bucks' seven. They also seemingly couldn't keep up with the Bucks' pace, as Milwaukee had 21 more field-goal attempts than Brooklyn.
The Nets were playing without star point guard Kyrie Irving, who has refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine and would have failed to comply with New York City's protocols. The team announced last week that we would not be with the team until he was fully eligible.
The Nets will look to bounce back in another road game Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers.