The Nets fell to 0-2 in the Orlando Summer League today against the Miami Heat. Despite improvements by Tyshawn Taylor and more involvement from Jason Kidd, the Nets had to scrap and claw just to stay close for most of the game. And, in the end, Miami was able to pull away and leave Brooklyn searching for their first "win" under Kidd.
- Yesterday, Lawrence Frank was in charge of most timeouts and huddles against Detroit. Frank drew up the plays as Kidd watched on eagerly. Today, however, Kidd drew up a fair bit of plays himself as he continues to try running timeouts in street clothes rather than a jersey.
- Kidd called a couple consecutive timeouts during the late fourth quarter in order to get a little extra practice with the clipboard even though the game's results had been decided. The NBATV Announcers commented on how both plays got the Nets a good look at the hoop.
- Tyshawn Taylor played far, far better today. He looked more willing to pass and at least accepted the idea of a potential offense being run. Taylor ended with 25 points and tripled his assist count from yesterday to three. However, Taylor also owned a game-low -13 +/-, which is definitely something worth monitoring going foward.
- Toko Shengelia, who often appeared invisible yesterday, definitely left his mark in a good way. It's hard to tell from the box score, but Shengelia played some nice, scrappy defense, crashed into the stands and made some incredible passes. Clearly, Shengelia needs to work on his jumper still, as his three-attempts really never had any chance of going in. I really like what Shengelia brings to the table as a versatile balanced player that's willing to leave it all on the court-- even in Summer League.
- Mason Plumlee had a quiet first half and then, for the second straight game, left no doubt in any spectator's mind who the best Net was. Plumlee grabbed 9 boards and ran the floor so well that Andray Blatche would have wept tears of joy. Oh, and he dunked again-- this is guy is exciting to watch and the Nets were infinitely more boring without Plumlee on the court. The rookie finished with a strong 23 points by going 8-8 from the field.
- Oh, and most importantly: Jason Kidd did NOT get another technical foul.
The Nets don't play tomorrow, but play against the Utah Jazz at 11am on Wednesday. Hopefully we'll actually get a full, complete game out of the Nets so I can stop being so sour about losing a pointless, unimportant Summer League game.
On last night's 117-111 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder:
Avery Johson: I challenged our team at half-time. I didn’t like our performance in the first half. We didn’t play like the Brooklyn Nets. We should win games when we score 111 points. Give our guys credit, they came out with more energy and focus and battled on the defensive end.
Deron Williams:... MORE →
After a red-hot first quarter where the Nets made 14 of 19 shots and got at least five points from five players, the Nets stalled in the second half as Harrison Barnes and David Lee helped the Warriors claw back into it. Brook Lopez continued to score because that's what Brook Lopez does, and Joe Johnson looked like a functioning member of an NBA offense. In the first half, no less. MarShon Brooks, however, is still searching for his offense.
Also some weird bro in the crowd compared Brook Lopez to Kobe Bryant.
Don't forget to grade it up!
The Brooklyn Nets take on the defending world champs tonight at 7:30. Here’s what is important.
TV: For the first time this regular season, the Brooklyn Nets won’t be on National Television. Well, excuuuuuuuse me. Tonight’s game will be featured on the YES Network and WFAN radio.
Starters: Since we’ve heard no change on a Brooklyn lineup, the Nets are expected to start Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez tonight. Bogans will start in place of the injured Gerald Wallace. Miami will be going with the usual starting lineup Mario Chalmers, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Shane Battier and Chris Bosh.
Season Standings: The Nets are 1-1 after blowing a 22-point lead to Minnesota Monday night, while the Heat have won 3 games in classic fashion, and blew one in an emotional post-Sandy Knicks opener.
The Nets will win if... They manage to hold the Heat to under 90 points. The Nets have given up over 100 points in the last two games. Brooklyn is a very good offensive team and will be able to secure a win if they can at least try and stop the Heat. This probably isn’t going to happen.
The Nets will lose if... The Heat play like the Heat and go on an offensive terror all night. The Nets are not a good defensive team right now and Miami will likely take advantage of that. If the Heat put up a regular Heat game, they will probably win.
In NBA 2K13: Nets... uh... win? Yup, even without Gerald Wallace, in my simulation the Nets beat the Heat 117-114 in 48 minutes of hellscape back-and-forth basketball. MarShon Brooks started and hit the game-clinching three with 10.7 seconds left, finishing with 18 points. D-Will dropped a superstar-esque 30 points and 14 assists in 40 minutes, Joe Johnson chipped in an efficient 22, and despite a herculean 46-point effort from Dwyane Wade, the Nets eked it out.
Nets 2K13 record: 3-0
2K13 prediction record: 1-1
Enjoy the game!
Coming off of a lackluster effort last night in their loss to the Celtics, the Nets are back in action tonight taking on the Sixers in their final pre-season tune up at the Barclays Center.
Three things to keep an eye on heading in to tonight's game:
- How will the Nets respond after a loss? As stated earlier the Nets were out played from whistle to whistle last night by the Celtics, so it'll be interesting to see how these particular group comes back after a loss.
- Minutes Watch. Coming off a game in which the starters and key bench players played regular minutes and tonight's game being the fourth in five nights the Nets will have played, expect the reserves to get a large portion of the playing time tonight, although no official word on that yet.
- MarShon Brooks. If Avery Johnson's plan is to rest the starters, then perhaps tonight might be a good opportunity to let Brooks off the leash a little. Brooks who's missed most of the pre-season due to injury played 15 minutes in last night's loss to the Celtics.
Since the Brooklyn Nets play their first televised game tonight, you'll have the ability to keep an eye out for real live basketball things. Basketball! Here are the five I'm paying attention to:
1) The starters' effectiveness. The Deron Williams-Joe Johnson-Gerald Wallace-Kris Humphries-Brook Lopez Quintet decimated the decimated Sixers starting five in their time on the floor Saturday. Per the pregame notes, check out Washington's projected starters: Jannero Pargo, Bradley Beal, Martell Webster, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin. If the Brooklyn Nets made mincemeat of a lineup starring Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, they should absolutely destroy this five.
That said, it's not about the score. If the Nets run as effectively as they can, they should be able to put together strings of successful possessions. I'd much rather their offense creating open attempts that miss than hitting contested shots. We know the Nets can make those shots. It's more important that they create the open, high-percentage looks in the first place.
2) C.J. Watson & Andray Blatche's synergy. The Nets bench allowed a stunning fourth-quarter comeback on Saturday night, but it wasn't due to Watson and Blatche, who played well together offensively. The two combined for 31 of the team's 41 bench points and scored in different ways: Watson off pick-and-rolls and in transition, Blatche in isolations and post-ups. Blatche showed a lot of moves down low that I didn't expect, especially reverses going under the basket.
3) The tempo. Since two of the Nets' most effective scorers in the starting lineup (Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez) are particularly good scorers in halfcourt offense, I expected the Nets to mostly keep the game in the halfcourt, creating shots while using all 24 seconds. Mark that as yet another prediction that, at least in game one, I got completely wrong. The Nets starters ran the Sixers off the floor in the first quarter, pushing the tempo to the tune of a blistering 26 possessions in 12 minutes and converting six turnovers into fast break opportunities. They ran and ran like hell -- and it worked. Will it again?
4) Mirza Teletovic. Teletovic is a shooter, and every Nets player and coach that spoke about him after the game reiterated that fact. But it wasn't just that his shots were missing; he looked put out of rhythm by his own misses, so much so that the Philadelphia crowd started cheering every time he caught the ball outside the arc. It got that bad. But Coach Avery told him "shoot 20 times." They trust him. But though tonight is reflective, not indicative, another 2-13 night won't help matters.
5) Defending the rim. One of this year's big question marks for Brooklyn is how the team defends the paint. Even though the Nets allowed just 45.7% shooting at the rim (about 11% below the league average) and just 32% from within 8 feet on Saturday, Coach Avery was not pleased with how the Nets defended the rim, critiquing their lack of blocked shots. (They had seven.) Brook Lopez looked more active than usual, finishing with three blocked shots and eight defensive rebounds in 28 minutes. It's worth looking out for how he defends post-ups and rotates in the paint tonight.