By Ron Chambers
Not long ago the Brooklyn Rage were the toast of the WBA. The talk was about how dominant they are. Then suddenly after an 9-1 start they go on a four game skid. It is hard to explain what is happening. After 10 games they had the widest margin of victory of any team in the league. Over the last four games they have lost by an average of 9.0 points a game.
Bailey has not been playing at the level he was but it is hard to complain about 24.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 46%. Honestly, he got hurt one game and had 17 pointsin only 19 minutes. If he had not gotten hurt his scorring average would probably be pushing 30. The one place that Bailey really does deserve critiism over the last four games is his 18% 3-point shooting. So, yes he isn’t as efficient has he was earlier in the season but it is hard to be too critical of great rather than amazing play.
Strom over the last sever games has retruned to his form from last year. He is averaging 25.0 points (46% from the floor), 7.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. He has been taking more shots averaging the most on the team with almost 23 a game. But, he has been productive so again it is hard to find fault here.
Jefferson has also been scoring better over the last several games. He has been averaging, over the four game losing streak, 21 points on 48% shooting (41% from behind the arch), and 6.0 assists. The assists are down from early in the season but Strom has been passing better so that isn’t a huge issue. This gives Brooklyn three players who are averaging over 20 points in the last four games. The offense from Bailey, Strom, and Jefferson isn’t the issue.
Defense on the other hand can be faulted some. The steals and block numbers for those three are down some and the Rage have been allowing opposing teams to shoot better most notably from long range. The big three do need to step up their defensive effort again.
The big problem though is down low. Neither Herbert nor Miles have been playing well over the last four games. They have combine for only 9.8 points on 30% shooting. Herbert who is the Rages second biggest 3-point threat has only shot 16% from range in those four games. They also aren’t getting to the line. They combine for only five Free Throw attempts in four games.Miles has also fouled out in two games and Herbert and Miles are only averaging 7.5 and 7.0 rebounds respectively.
It is tempting to look at the play of the stars when a team goes on a losing streak. From what I hear, that is exactly what Brooklyn’s management did. But, sometimes it is the role players. Rage management is high on Miles for the future. But, he has to play better today. 3.0 points on 26% shooting will not get it done from the Power Forward position.
Unfortunately for Brooklyn fans, their next game is on the road in Cancun. That is a tough one with how they are playing. Fortunately, after that they have some easier games on the schedule. The ship will right itself but this has been a significant bump.