In the fourth quarter, the Brooklyn Nets laid waste to what was a fifteen-point lead at one point, letting the Grizzlies claw back to within two points and make a game out of what was teetering on the edge of a blowout. With their backs against the wall, the Nets played a simplified offense run through Brook Lopez to perfection, and it ended in a 97-88 Nets victory.
Lopez struggled early in the first quarter in the post, hitting one of his first six shots in post-up situations and struggling mightily with Memphis Grizzlies center Kosta Koufos's length and strength. The one shot he did make in the post was a turnaround jumper from 15 feet in the first quarter, rather than pounding his back into the basket.
With Lopez fatigued, Kidd pulled him and Kevin Garnett gave him a pick-me-up as Joe Johnson ran the offense, floating between Iso-Joe and offensive Flow-Joe (Flo-Joe will probably not take off as a nickname.) In the middle quarters, the Nets used Andray Blatche for long stretches, who both did good, sane things (offensive rebounding, manning the paint) and good insane things (hitting a career-high three three-pointers, creating off the dribble from the three-point line for a layup. Indeed, Blatche scored 17 of his 21 points in the middle quarters, playing more time in the second and third than Lopez.
Then, when the Nets needed to maintain a lead in the fourth quarter, they went straight to Lopez, who played one of his best stretches of post play in his career.... MORE →