Got booted to the bench in favor of Tyshawn Taylor, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing or a demotion: Livingston’s already a bench player and hasn’t played particularly well in the last few weeks. Didn’t have a discernible impact.
Hit some midrange jumpers, played a little sprier on defense than in previous nights, and provided some of that classic KG intensity on the floor in the fourth quarter. Looked more like the KG the Nets thought they’d traded for. Didn’t have a big stat line, but that’s kind of the point. And man, how sweet would that putback dunk would have been? He had the lift, the space, the timing, and it just smacked back rim.
He’d rank as of the league’s smartest players if “knowing when to shoot” was not a thing in basketball. Lots of good decisions on both ends of the floor, but when he had the ball in his hands, he just took brutal shots.
Red-hot in the first quarter, hitting open and contested shots alike out of isolation looks. Scored 16 of the team’s 24 points in the open frame and hit a big three-pointer in the fourth quarter off Brook Lopez passing out of a double-team. His shooting in the first carried them early.
Weird how he can easily outplay Dwight Howard one night and then struggle with Kosta Koufos’s length the next, but basketball is a weird game. Forced the issue on offense and struggled to get position in the paint early, but then started to dominate in the fourth quarter: the Nets went through Lopez possession after possession in the fourth, and he delivered with a variety of soft-touch scores and passes out of double-teams. Gets a demotion because of his brutal first-half play, but the Nets don’t close this one out if they can’t go through Lopez in the fourth.
There is nobody harder to grade on a game in and game out basis than Andray Blatche. If he were a chef, he’d season and cook a 24-oz Porterhouse to perfection and then garnish it with a bowl of raw salmon. Blatche had an excellent first half, hitting two threes (that he probably shouldn’t take), attacking the offensive glass, and scoring around the rim. He wasn’t perfect — a play when he grabbed an offensive rebound, saw a triple-team, and tried to score instead of hitting an open teammate sticks out — but if he plays like this, he’ll deserve his minutes instead of tripping backwards into them.
Got first-half minutes and didn’t earn second-half minutes.
Earned his first career start and played the way that got him there: relentlessly attacking the rim as soon as he got an inch of separation. Unfortunately you can’t take a mile if you’re given an inch in the NBA unless you’re one of the best guards in the league, and Taylor’s not at that level. More drives than not ended fruitlessly and with Taylor on the ground.
How about that confidence? Some big fourth-quarter threes from the second-year forward, and even a post-up fallaway floater that kissed the rim. This is the Mirza Teletovic the Nets thought they signed, and if he keeps shooting like this, it’ll be hard to keep him off the floor no matter what position they put him at.