NBA: Nets Week 2 Recap

Inside the Barclays Center Before Game 1 of the 2013 Playoffs

Inside the Barclays Center Before Game 1 of the 2013 Playoffs

They entered the week 1-2, and coming off a bad loss to Orlando.  And they leave week two with another 1-2 record and a 2-4 overall season record.  This team is still trying to find themselves, specifically on the defensive end, and it showed this weekend.

Game 4: vs Utah

It was another strong start for the Nets, but this time Brooklyn never took the foot off the gas pedal, keeping the Jazz win-less on the season.  Brook Lopez was a dominant presence down low from the start, and the Nets cruised to an easy 104-88 win on Tuesday.

Kevin Garnett said practice Monday was probably the hardest since training camp, following a bad blowout loss Sunday to a young Magic team.  The team back up KG’s words with a big effort.  It was such an easy win, that none of the starters took the floor in the 4th quarter.  Rookie Center out of Duke, Mason Plumlee, made his NBA debut, showing his ever-present motor on loose balls, while scoring 5 minutes, grabbing 4 rebounds in 17 minutes.  Everyone who dressed, played, allowing for the low use of their starters and main rotation players.   Six Nets scored in double figures, while everyone who played, with the exception of Jason Terry, tallied a point.  And no player played more than 26 minutes.  Games like this will be very welcome throughout the season, especially with the age of this team.

  • For the 3rd time, Brook Lopez led the way with 27 points, as well as 7 boards, while Deron Williams dished out 8 assists.

W Jazz 88 – Nets 104

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Game 5: @ Washington

For the 4th time in 5 games, Brooklyn jumped out to a big lead, and for the 2nd time, the Nets couldn’t close it out.  They remain win-less on the road.

Brook Lopez got off to another hot start, with 18 points in the first half.   But as is the case, the team got off to a bad start in the 3rd quarter, and Lopez only got one shot attempt off in the frame.  Defensive stops were far and few between in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, and this was the definition of a game of runs.  On the offensive end, Joe Johnson kept Brooklyn alive in the 3rd, while Kevin Garnett didn’t score until the 4th quarter, Paul Pierce was held scoreless until overtime.  3rd newcomer from Boston, Jason Terry, was big with a number of 3s in the 2nd half.

L Nets 108 – Wizards 112 (OT)

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Game 6: vs Indiana

Well they didn’t get off to a quick start, both in the 1st and 3rd quarters, and this time around it meant another loss.  Brooklyn suffered their first loss of the season to the undefeated Pacers, giving them their first losing streak of the year.

Brook Lopez faced his toughest match-up of the season in Indiana’s 7′ 2″ center Roy Hibbert, and it showed early on the offensive end.  The Pacers entered as the best defensive team, and they showed why.  They’re very good at rebounding and help defense.  But the Nets may have exposed their one weakness, and that’s when Hibbert isn’t the on the floor.  Lopez had his best moments early in the 4th before Hibbert returned.

They were without Andrei Kirilenko, who’s back spasms popped up again.  Mason Plumlee played over Reggie Evans, and used his 15 minutes well.  He showed energy and toughness in his time on the court, showing why Brooklyn used their lone draft pick on the Duke Center.  Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingtson continue to bring energy and defense off the bench, showing they can pick up the slack and lead the “benchmob 2.0.”

It was a rare game where the Nets had to come back off a slow start, and they did a good job closing the 1st quarter deficit to just 2.  A good 2nd gave them a half-time lead, but as per usual, they got down big to start the 3rd quarter.  In the end, it was a 5 point loss.  The atmosphere of game 6 was more like a playoff game.  Both teams looked like teams that can go far.  But you can tell that the core of the Pacers know each other and are just better right now.  Brooklyn needs time to find their cohesion.  They’ve shown they can beat the defending champs, and they can give other top teams, like Indiana, fits.

  • Deron Williams and Joe Johnson tied with a team high 17 points, Williams added 10 assists for his first double-double of the season and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett tied with 8 rebounds.

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It’s early, and this team was 14-14 and last year, so it’s not time to panic.  They’ve shown a lot of good things, and some not so good things through 6 games.  Brooklyn is now off until Wednesday night when they start a 3 game West Coast road trip.  Games in Sacrament, Phoenix and the Clippers await as the Nets look to get their first wins on the road, and get to .500 and beyond.

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The Nets Have an Up and Down Opening Week

The Barclays Center Before Game 1 4/20/13

The Barclays Center Before Game 1 4/20/13

So I didn’t get to give you guys a preview for Brooklyn, but I will be bringing you a weekly recap of their games.  The Nets are looking to improve on a very good first season in Brooklyn, one where they finished 2 games out of the Atlantic Division, won 49 regular season games and lost in game 7 in the first round to Chicago.  With another year of big roster turnover, including the addition of former World Champion stars Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, this team has championship aspirations of their own

Game 1: @ Cleveland

The Nets got out to a hot start against the Cavs, taking a quick 12-2 lead.  Their revamped starting 5 looked good early.  Paul Pierce scored the first four points of the game for Brooklyn, his first 4 points with a team not located in Boston.

But as the game progressed, some of their 2012-2013 issues started to pop up. Namely bad rotation on defense, leaving wide open layups for Cleveland.  After the hot start, the Nets shooting percentage dropped quickly, as did their good early ball movement.  But at the half, the Cavaliers led by 1.

Last season, the 3rd quarter was not the Nets friend.  And in their season opener, it continued to be a problem,  They went to the 4th down 9.  But Brooklyn fought back, thanks in large part to big 3s from another former Celtic, and 6th man of the year Jason Terry.  The biggest problem late was the lack of Deron Williams.  The starting point guard only played 10 minutes in the pre-season, so he was a on a strict minutes restriction.  But thanks to foul trouble to back-up Shaun Livingston, Williams burned through those minutes quickly, and was on the bench for the entire final frame.  In the end, it wasn’t enough, and game 1 of 82 ended in defeat.

  • Brook Lopez led the way with 21 points, Kevin Garnett led with 10 rebounds, and despite playing just 21 minutes, Deron Williams lead with 9 assists.

(L) Nets 94 – Cavs 98

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Game 2: vs Miami

In their  home opener, the Nets showed they’re up to the task of defending home court against the leagues best.  The defending champs came to town, and for the first time since 2009, the Nets came out victorious, snapping a 13-game losing streak to Miami.

Like opening night, Brooklyn jumped out to a quick lead, but again lost it by half.  Normally the 3rd quarter is a struggle for the Nets, but not Friday night.  They outscored the Heat 31-20 out of the locker room, thanks in large part to Paul Pierce.  But Miami would rally in the 4th, finding a way to get within one, but Brooklyn held on.  This game could have been easier to wrap up for Brooklyn had then been better from the charity strip.  They were just 27-39 from the free-throw line, good for just 69%.

The defense was great for much of the game, with guys like Alan Anderson coming off the bench and doing a little bit of everything.

  • Paul Pierce & Joe Johnson led the way with 19 points a piece, Kevin Garnett with 7 boards and Deron Williams dished out 8 dimes.

(W) Heat 100 – Nets 101

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Game 3: @ Orlando

So much for coming out strong after a big win on Friday.  Both teams played an ugly first half, but down just 3 at the half, the Nets had a great chance to pick up their first road win. That is until they came out flat in the 3rd quarter.  After serving a two-game suspension for a DUI last year, Jason Kidd didn’t get the performance he was looking for in his first game as an NBA head coach.

They had no answer for Orlando big man Nikola Vucevic, who put a double-double on Brooklyn, 19 points and 12 boards.  6 Magic players finished in double figures, including Vucevic and rookie guard Victor Oladipo.  The Nets defense stayed in the locker room, allowing 66 2nd half points.

A big problem for Brooklyn, aside from the 2nd half defense, was a poor shooting night from pretty much everyone.  The team shot under 38% for the game, and did a poor job of getting to the line, with only 15 attempts from the charity stripe.

  • Brook Lopez with his 2nd 21-point effort led the team in scoring, Paul Pierce led the way with 7 boards, while Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston tied with a team high 7 assists.

(L) Magic 107 – Nets 86

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So that’s how Brooklyn’s first week went.  With a record of 1-2, they start week 2 at home with a Tuesday match-up with the Utah Jazz.  Deron Williams is win-less against his former team, and he looks to change that this time around.   Also up this week are games against John Wall and the Washington Wizards then Paul George and the Indiana Pacers.