Brooklyn Nets finish season strong with help from long ball

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: Kenny Atkinson of the Brooklyn Nets has a conversation with Caris LeVert
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: Kenny Atkinson of the Brooklyn Nets has a conversation with Caris LeVert /

The Brooklyn Nets won three of their last four games to wrap up an encouraging season.

Just as it did all year, the three-point line fueled the Brooklyn Nets‘ late season surge.

On Thursday, Brooklyn defeated the playoff bound Milwaukee Bucks 119-111 on the heels of 19 three-point field goals.

Then Saturday, the Nets recorded a franchise record 24 three-pointers in their 124-96 rout of the Chicago Bulls, just one shy of the NBA single-game record set by the Cleveland Cavaliers last season.

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In the latter half of the home-and-home against the Bulls Monday, Brooklyn poured in 18 more three-pointers, sweeping the season series 114-105.

The team lost its season finale Wednesday, falling to the Boston Celtics 110-97.

Although the Nets struggled at times throughout the season, it was a historic year from deep.

Brooklyn attempted (1,041) and made (2,924) the most three-pointers in franchise history.

Near the end of the season, the Nets tallied 16 straight games with 10-plus three-point field goals made, another franchise record.

Then just two weeks ago, Allen Crabbe broke the franchise record for most three-point field goals made in a season (201), surpassing Deron Williams (169).

Several factors contributed to Brooklyn’s success from beyond the arch.

For starters, the players bought into Kenny Atkinson’s system, recording 23.7 assists per game, its most since 2007-08.

Secondly, the team developed its younger players. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen each took big steps.

The additions of D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, and DeMarre Carroll also contributed to the team’s offensive success. Some of the more experienced players on the roster, they provided the leadership the team desperately needed once Jeremy Lin was lost for the season.

Along with its production, Brooklyn gave effort on a nightly basis.

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Even though the Nets lacked the fire power to beat the NBA’s elite, they still competed and stayed in games.

All things considered, it’s safe to say Brooklyn did the most with what it had by establishing a culture, developing its younger players, and evaluating its personnel.

Looking toward next year and beyond, the Nets will try and build on what was surely a stepping stone season.