In an ugly, lazy affair, the Nets looked nothing like the team that had taken down the Chicago Bulls and the Memphis Grizzlies in back-to-back games, letting an underwhelming Celtics team take advantage of Brooklyn's poor shooting. The Nets beat themselves as much as the Celtics beat them, missing open shots and throwing away too many possessions with silly turnovers.
The Nets missed their first seventeen three-point attempts, all in the first half, and outside of a late third-quarter run, they never took the lead.
I thought the Nets weren't that bad defensively -- they did force 25 turnovers -- but they were out-rebounded heartily even considering that difference, and the Celtics hit shots on a night Brooklyn didn't, and that's all it takes in some games. The low grade is as much about the magnitude of the loss, as it drops Brooklyn four games behind the Toronto Raptors for the division lead with 22 games left.
Hard game to grade Williams; he played well in the first half, but the results didn't match his process, and he got torched by a suddenly-effective-from-three Rajon Rondo. He finally started putting shots down in the second half, but the Nets were playing catch-up at that point.
Attempted a corner three-pointer in a new development, but had one of his worst games of the season: looked tentative trying to find teammates, struggled with his shot, couldn't put in layups, and committed unnecessary fouls.
His mid-range game was on point at times tonight, but couldn't hit anything else.
A less emotional but still poignant return for Pierce, who evoked another ovation from the Boston crowd and played just a bit better than last time. Hit some vintage mid-range shots but quiet otherwise. It was the second straight game Pierce got hit in his right shoulder/neck area.
The Celtics got points early by attacking Blatche defensively, putting him in a series of pick-and-rolls and taking advantage of his sluggish help defense, and once the city of New York allows him to marry his midrange jumper he'll buy a ring.
Here's an incomplete list of little things he did: switched onto Jared Sullinger and forced him into airballing a three-pointer, multiple pass deflections, covering Andray Blatche's defensive mistakes, "pulled the chair" on Kelly Olynyk to force a turnover, threw in a ridiculous whirling and-one layup. He can't hit a shot outside of the paint, but his ability to do all the little things can't be lost. He left the game in the fourth quarter after injuring himself after stealing a full-court lob pass. For his and Brooklyn's sake, I hope he's okay.
Entered the game ahead of Marcus Thornton, a curious development after Thornton looked like he'd taken his spot in the rotation. Quiet performance nonetheless.
Had some good shot attempts, but once he missed his first couple three-pointers, he looked like he was forcing it in hopes that he'd put a shot down to no avail. Did get one nice layup through contact during a third-quarter Nets run that seemed like a game-changer, but couldn't buy a bucket otherwise.
Has become Kidd's choice as reliable starter with Garnett out of the picture, which makes some sense -- it allows Blatche to stay with the second unit and Plumlee played well in his starting stints. Decent game and give him credit for hitting most of his shots backwards, but still fouling too much and not a rebound-hoarder.
The Nets take on the Boston Celtics for the second and final time in Boston this season tonight.
Starting Lineup: Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Mason Plumlee.
Injury report: Kevin Garnett (back spasms) did not make the trip to Boston, and will miss his fourth straight game. Joe Johnson (illness) was a game-time decision, and will play.
When & Where: 7:30 P.M. EST, TD Garden, Boston, MA
Watch: YES Network
Listen: CBS WFAN 660 AM, 101.9 FM
Great story to come out of Wednesday night's Brooklyn Nets win: Yolanda Harris, a terminally ill cancer patient, was gifted a night to the Nets game for her and her family by MJHS hospice.
via News 12 Brooklyn:
MJHS Hospice in Kingsbridge surprised one of their patients, Yolanda Harris, and several of her children, with an evening at Barclays Center that included round-trip transportation and a meal.
"A lot of time, I'm in pain," said Harris, a mother of 11. "There are very few days where I can actually get up and do stuff like this."
The surprise was also a treat for Harris' daughter, Latifa, who is her home health aide. Latifa says she was excited to finally do something fun together as a family.
The family also got a chance to meet Alan Anderson. Watch the video at the link below.
The Brooklyn Nets travel to Boston tonight to face the Celtics for a chance extend their winning streak to five games.
|7-3||Last 10 Games||2-8|
|103.1||Points scored per 100 possessions||98.6|
|104.2||Points allowed per 100 possessions||103.6|
|94.07||Possessions per game||96.07|
|45.2%||Field goal percentage||43.4%|
|Joe Johnson (15.0)||Top Scorer||Jeff Green (16.8)|
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Garnett played as a member of the Celtics for six seasons before getting traded to Brooklyn this offseason. The Nets traveled to Boston in January, giving Garnett and former Celtic Paul Pierce a moving tribute thanking them for their time in Boston.
RELATED: Garnett on Boston: "Some things are forever, man."
The Nets later announced that guard Joe Johnson is battling illness and is a game-time decision. Johnson also played with the Celtics for one half of one season in his rookie year.
In today's The Morning After post, I said this about Jason Collins:
Jason Collins: is a very smart basketball player. Part of his intelligence is knowing his limitations, but also recognizing his strengths. Former YES Network announcer and Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson often says that too many coaches focus on what a player can't do instead of developing what he can. Collins develops what he can do.
Someone asked me to show an example of those smarts, the type of positives Collins can bring to the game that don't show up in the stat sheet. So here's the example that inspired that thought.
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Brooklyn Nets power forward Mason Plumlee (1) celebrates with teammate Andray Blatche (0) after Blatche scored in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in New York. Brooklyn won 103-94. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)
The Nets signed Jorge Gutierrez to a ten-day contract to fill their last roster spot, the team announced today. The signing was originally reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.
Hearing: Nets indeed lining up 10-day deal to call up Jorge Gutierrez from D-League after Canton Charge G went to training camp w/Brooklyn
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 6, 2014
Gutierrez, a point guard, played 35 games with the Canton Charge in the NBA Developmental League this season, averaging 13.9 points and 6.9 assists per game. He was a training camp invitee with the Nets in October, spending the time at Duke University with the team and playing in preseason.