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
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)
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.
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.