Nets 107, Mavericks 104, Keep Rolling in OT (GAME GRADES)


The Brooklyn Nets CENTER

FREE BASKETBALL!

On the biggest play of the game, Kidd took a huge risk that paid off, playing five wing players in an attempt to space the floor as much as possible. The added space — and the natural tendency of players to tighten up their individual defense in crunch time — gave Joe Johnson a wide-open layup, leading to overtime.

Before that time, the Nets struggled to crack the Samuel Dalembert code, scoring nearly at will in the paint with him on the bench but getting very little towards the rim when Dallas’s center joined the game. Dalembert posted a huge seven blocks, stuffing Mason Plumlee at the rim and impressively rising up to swat away a Joe Johnson floater near its apex. Conversely, the Nets struggled to contain the explosive Monta Ellis when Ellis came around screens.

But in overtime, the Nets executed their game plan, forcing the Mavericks to convert bad shots, getting good attempts, and hitting most of their free throws. Only a few crazy Monta Ellis three-pointers near the end kept it close.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Hit the daggerous three-pointer to put the Nets up eight in overtime. Scored six quick points in the second quarter to keep the game close heading into the half and helped create offense for others. Even though he struggled with his shot, his ability to attack the lane and create for others helped Marcus Thornton and Mirza Teletovic get open. His low assist totals don’t tell the full story.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

Had a nice stretch in the third quarter showcasing his short jumper, but was quiet in the first half and did not do well trying to contest Monta Ellis outside of forcing a backcourt violation on one possession. But did well switched onto Dirk.

Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

JOE COOL
JOEY BUCKETS
JOE JESUS
JOE CLUTCH
JOEVERTIME
EVERYTHING’S COMING UP JOEHOUSE

Sorry, got distracted. Joe Johnson turns into a robot with the game on the line, I’m convinced; he was in the midst of a difficult fourth quarter, losing possessions in the post and taking bad shots, until the ultimate Nets spread offense gave Johnson a wide open lane to the basket.

Johnson kept the party going in overtime, hitting two more shots to extend the team’s lead. I normally won’t give grades based on a few possessions, but if Johnson doesn’t make that layup, the Nets don’t get into overtime. A+ for Joe Cool.

Paul Pierce POWER FORWARD

A quiet night overall from a normally loud player until a big throwdown with 1:03 left in regulation to put the Nets up 2, and two free throws at the end of overtime to seal the win.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

Dalembert was having none of Blatche’s Blatchitude tonight.

Andrei Kirilenko SMALL FORWARD

Injured his ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return but was already in the midst of a rough night.

Mirza Teletovic POWER FORWARD

Mirk Telitzki with some fantastic shooting tonight.

(Okay, it wasn’t the same as his 34-point game the last time they played Dallas. But he really, really seems to like playing this team.)

Marcus Thornton SHOOTING GUARD

MY NAME’S MARCUS THORNTON, I GET BUCKETS.

With the Nets down seven headed into the fourth quarter, the Nets relied on Thornton for instant offense for the second time, and Thornton delivered once again
There was a solid stretch of time in the first half when the Nets couldn’t score at all, and Marcus Thornton dropped three quick shots to close what was a 14-point gap.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

There are games when a veteran will make a rookie look like a high school player. Tonight was one of those nights.

Looked wild and was thoroughly deconstructed by Samuel Dalembert, who beat him for rebounds, scored on him, and swatted about three Mason Plumlee dunk attempts. Dalembert didn’t let Plumlee beat him in the air because he barely let Plumlee get off the ground, timing his blocked shots perfectly so that Plumlee didn’t stand a chance.