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
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.
Heat 100 – Nets 101
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
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.