The Brooklyn Nets were determined to sweep the season series against the Miami Heat in their matchup on Sunday, but the Heat had other things in mind. Despite not having Jimmy Butler, the defending Eastern Conference champions made it difficult on the Nets from the start.
Miami led by as many as seven in the first half. As the Heat kept applying pressure, some bad bad news struck the Nets. Kevin Durant had to exit the game with a thigh contusion after starting the game 3-3 from the field with 8 points.
Players on Brooklyn seemed down about the news, but Landry Shamet took it upon himself the find the much needed energy to keep everyone’s hopes up. He went off for 18 points on 7-10 shooting in the first half. As he caught momentum, the rest of the team followed his lead, even Kyrie Irving who started the game 1-5 from the field. He was up to 14 points at the half with Shamet drawing so much attention.
The second half was more of the same from Shamet. He exploded for a new career high, 30 points on 10-15 shooting. However, despite a late run to get back into the game for the Brooklyn in the end, Bam Adebayo shattered the hearts of Nets fans with a game winning buzzer-beater to steal the game 109-107.
Landry Shamet can be one of top elite shooters in the league one day
Landry Shamet is one of the few players shooting over 40% from three this season. Being that he is only 24-years-old, there is no doubt that he will work to challenge himself to raise this percentage to perhaps above 45%. When you’re practicing with players like Joe Harris, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving naturally as a player you are going to want to keep up with them, especially if you know you can shoot well just like them. They’ll push him as well in their time together so seeing Shamet as one of the top elite shooters in the league one day is very possible.
Kevin Durant’s health becomes more of a concern yet again
Kevin Durant had to exit the game versus the Miami Heat after colliding with a Heat player. It turned out to be a thigh contusion on his left thigh. With Durant missing so many games this year due to injury, his health becomes more and more of a concern every time something like this happens. This then makes it hard to see Brooklyn making a championship push if he can’t prove that he can be on the court. https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1383871717387292677
Nic Claxton will find a better offensive rhythm when James Harden returns
Nic Claxton finished this game with 4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a plus-minus of -3. These stats have been typical of the young big man lately and a lot of it has to do with the absence of James Harden. The Beard made the game easy for Claxton, finding him in his spots with his ability to draw attention and facilitate for big men really well. He’s the best player on the team that can create for big men. The absence of Harden truly rubs off on Claxton in regards to his impact on the game. Usually Nicolas Claxton would finish with a plus-minus that flies through the roof. Usually he would finish in double digit points. As of late, it’s hard to do that and it’s easy to see why.