Nets Pull Off Stunner: Nets 102, Warriors 98 (GAME GRADES)

Posted on: January 8th, 2014 by Devin Kharpertian Comments


Paul Pierce POWER FORWARD

Pierce is very reliant on his midrange jumper, to a fault, but he was able to draw contact on a few possessions in the first half. Played some great defense on Klay Thompson down the stretch, though he got switched onto Stephen Curry for one embarrassing possession.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

Had some nice moments in the first half, most memorably going coast-to-coast on Stephen Curry and hitting a lefty layup, and continued that stretch with an excellent third quarter. Dominated on both sides of the ball, coming up with loose balls and OH RIGHT THROWING DOWN THE CRADLE JAM:

The Nets really struggled without him running the offense and he played some great possessions in the fourth quarter until a mind-numbingly bad foul on a Stephen Curry three-pointer with 9.1 seconds left. That dropped him a letter grade alone.

Andrei Kirilenko SMALL FORWARD

He's everywhere. He's an animal foraging the countryside. He's the sneakiest pterodactyl in NBA history. How someone can be 6'9" with a wingspan of Russia and still evade even the stingiest defenders. He does every little thing that coaches love and broadcasters love to talk about. Here's one example: with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter, Joe Johnson badly missed a shot that bounced off the top of the backboard twice. Kirilenko fought off two Warriors defenders as the ball came to the ground, then tapped it off a Warrior leg to preserve the possession for Brooklyn. Some fantastic defense all-around, especially in the fourth quarter and especially in the last minute.

He is this team's final piece. If only the beginning ones were healthy.

Kevin Garnett POWER FORWARD

Quiet game from Garnett until a red-hot fourth quarter, including the steal that decided the game. He opened the fourth with a pretty layup and-one, capping it with a thirteen-letter word. He later helped on a high pick-and-roll to swat away a Stephen Curry layup attempt and hit two more jumpers before the game-changing moments: quick hands to steal a Stephen Curry pass with the Nets up one possession and under 24 seconds left, and two big free throws with 8.5 seconds left. He gets an A+ for that effort alone.

For a brief moment, he was the KG of two years ago again: not prime KG, but not so far away that the rust was showing.

Alan Anderson SHOOTING GUARD

Got some heat from fans and did have a bad game, but other than missing shots didn't play any differently than usual. He got good looks, he was just off. It happens.

Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

This team relies on him creating offense so much, doubly so with Williams out, and he had some good moments tonight getting to the rim and hitting three-pointers. Got a little too into his own isolation game at times, but hit some big free throws in crunch time.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

Seriously guys, I give up. How do you grade someone who is an A+ one second and an F the next? Who takes terrible stepback jumpers with ample time on the shot clock in crunch time and buries them after shimmying? How do you give a letter grade to someone that defies the alphabet? He is Schrödinger's Blatche: simultaneously winning and losing the game in his own mind. I give him a B for Blatche, because give me a reason not to.

Ian Eagle got as close as anyone ever has to describing Dray:

"Too much Blatcheness."

That's a mic-dropping moment if I ever heard one.

Mirza Teletovic POWER FORWARD

Struggled a few times to defend Golden State's high pick and roll, but an underrated box-out artist, had some nice passes, and OH YEAH, THE BUZZER BEATER AT THE HALF:


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