Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 26th 2024

Through two games under interim coach Kevin Ollie, fourth quarters and fast-break points are among the numerous trouble spots for the Brooklyn Nets.

Fading from the play-in race in the Eastern Conference, the Nets attempt to correct both areas, show some improvement on offense and stop their latest losing streak at four games in Monday’s visit to the struggling Memphis Grizzlies.

Ollie’s first two games as an NBA coach are a 121-93 loss at Toronto on Thursday and a 101-86 setback at Minnesota two nights later. Those showings occurred after the Nets took a 136-86 loss at Boston in former coach Jacque Vaughn’s final game.

The Nets are shooting 37.3 percent from the floor in their past three games and are shooting 26.2 percent (27 of 103) from 3-point range in those games.

Brooklyn’s shooting woes continued Saturday at Minnesota when it fell apart in the fourth quarter and wound up shooting a season-worst 33.7 percent and going a season-worst 17.1 percent from behind the arc. It was the Nets’ worst shooting percentage since shooting 33.3 percent against Memphis on March 4, 2020 and their lowest 3-point shooting percentage since making 13 percent (3 of 23) at San Antonio on Jan. 17, 2023.

Compounding matters were the Nets getting outscored 31-20 in the fourth quarter and 25-6 on fast-break points. The Nets were outscored 46-7 on fast breaks in Toronto and 39-22 in the fourth quarter.

“You know, it’s tough to beat an NBA team (when you’re) not scoring 100 points,” Brooklyn forward Dorian Finney-Smith said after the game against the Timberwolves. “They only scored 101 points, so we did a good job on the defensive end and we didn’t just make enough shots.”

Cam Thomas led the Nets with 18 points, but he and Mikal Bridges were a combined 1 of 16 from 3-point range and the duo are a combined 10 of 44 from behind the arc in the past three games. The Nets also lost Ben Simmons to a sore left knee that will require further testing and could keep him out for Monday, though he was likely going to miss one part of the back-to-back set that continues Tuesday in Orlando.

Brooklyn’s struggles in the early going under Ollie are part of a 2-8 skid since beating Houston and Utah Jan 27-29. It also is part of an extended 8-25 slide since a four-point win at Phoenix on Dec. 13.

Memphis is 2-10 over its past 12 games since winning three straight Jan. 22-26. The Grizzlies halted a nine-game losing streak with back-to-back wins over Houston and Milwaukee before the break but fell short in a 101-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night when they were outscored 12-4 over the final three-plus minutes.

It was the eighth single-digit loss in the 12-game skid and the Grizzlies were held to 95 points or fewer for the eighth time this season.

“I think we should have won, honestly,” Memphis reserve Lamar Stevens said. “I don’t really like the moral victory stuff. I think we should have won. I think we kind of gave that one away down the stretch.”

Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 29 points and has scored at least 20 in 12 of his past 14 games. Jackson is hoping to get better support from the other four starters of Vince Williams Jr., Ziaire Williams, Luke Kennard and Santi Aldama after the quartet combined for 33 points on 14 of 31 from the field.

-Field Level Media

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