Knotted Up: Raptors 100, Nets 95 (PLAYOFF GAME GRADES)

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments


The Brooklyn Nets CENTER

Until the last few minutes, the Nets maximized their best asset -- forcing turnovers -- and were dominated by their biggest weakness -- rebounding. They may have set a record for most shots rimmed out in a game, which will happen sometimes. Credit to DeMar DeRozan for showing up big after a rough Game 1. Now it's time to go back to Brooklyn.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Came out as aggressive as he did Saturday afternoon, but his shots didn't fall in the first half. One notable layup twirling around Jonas Valanciunas to put in a scoop, but a quiet night otherwise on a bigger stage, including a rough turnover in crunch time.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

Didn't show any fear attacking the paint in his first playoff series since 2006 and his first as a starter, and unlike the rest of the team didn't have any issues hitting free throws.

Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

The Raptors still don't have an answer for him on the wing -- it's either make or miss once he gets into the paint. Johnson carried the Nets through the third quarter with 12 big points in a variety of ways, but airballed a 3 in the fourth quarter and the Nets didn't go to him otherwise.

Paul Pierce POWER FORWARD

2 quick fouls in the first quarter kept him glued to the bench, but played disruptive defense throughout. Didn't hit any shots until crunch time: a step-back and-one jumper that tied the game at 83, and then an and-one layup to cut a 92-87 lead to 92-90 with under a minute left. Pierce had one more chance to give the Nets the lead, but rimmed out two wide-open three-point attempts down the stretch.

Kevin Garnett CENTER

Strong start to this one on both ends, neutralizing Raptors pick-and-rolls with Valanciunas and hitting two nice mid-range jumpers in his first four-minute stint. Rolled well to the rim to get some easy buckets and played solid defense in his limited time. Not an accident that he had the team's best plus-minus.

Andrei Kirilenko SMALL FORWARD

After sitting out the entirety of Game 1, drawing the ire of his wife, Kirilenko got some early playing time in Game 2 and earned his keep with his usual, sneaky style of play. Played some crunch time minutes in lieu of Shain Livingston, hitting the deck on one play to save a defensive rebound. If not that, this is his play of the night: stealing an offensive rebound right out of Terrence Ross's hands and grabbing another offensive rebound on the very next shot.

Mirza Teletovic POWER FORWARD

Rough Game 1 didn't translate over: Teletovic missed his first three shots but then buried his next four, including three three-pointers, briefly leading the Nets in scoring to close the first half. Still can't defend.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

Doesn't look fazed by playoff minutes but Brooklyn's defense fell off a cliff with him in the game.