Nets Raptors Basketball

The Nets and Raptors start their playoff series Saturday in Toronto. (AP)

 

What had happened was: The Nets cast aside their usual uniforms and instead collectively donned a massive white flag in the final game of the regular season, which they lost 114-85 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game mercifully brought to an end a streak of uninspired, boring basketball the Nets largely played over the final two weeks.

The Nets made rest their first priority, as Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Garnett, Alan Anderson, and Mirza Teletovic sat this one out. Instead, the Nets fielded a vaunted five of Jorge Gutierrez, Marquis Teague, Marcus Thornton, Andray Blatche, and Jason Collins. Andrei Kirilenko and Mason Plumlee made appearances of the bench, which was weird, because I wasn’t used to seeing NBA players on the court when they got in the game.

That was: A chore. No one wanted to watch the Nets’ collection of also-rans come out and skirmish with a non-playoff game when the team clearly didn’t give a damn, and this was in many senses not even an NBA game.

Where they stand: After a few days of jockeying, the dust has settled. The Nets will take the No. 6 seed and play the Toronto Raptors, who beat the New York Knicks Wednesday to cement their spot in the No. 3 seed, in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 will take place at the Air Canada Centre Saturday on ESPN. Time TBD. With the loss, the Nets locked a spot in Miami’s half of the Eastern Conference bracket, which means Brooklyn will play No. 2 Miami in the second round if the Nets advance and Miami takes care of business against No. 7 Charlotte.

This came amid much dismay that the Nets would have to play the Chicago Bulls in the first round once again. The No. 4 Bulls will instead play the No. 5 Washington Wizards.

The stats: Well, they weren’t great. Marcus Thornton led the Nets with 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting — and shoot he did. The cuffs were off for Thornton, who is not shy about shooting in the first place. This was an exhibition in gunning.

Andray Blatche posted 20 points (8-of-18 shooting) and 12 rebounds and featured his usual collection of moves and hilarity. Andrei Kirilenko MADE A PAIR OF FREE THROWS and I don’t care about anything else he did.

Jason Collins was set free to fire, logging eight points on eight shots. The lumbering big man played 39 minutes, and you have to figure he’ll never play that many in an NBA game again.

Shot Chart Rorschach Test: A Christmas-themed square donut.
donut

Is Marquis Teague in the D-League yet? That’s a nope.

Game Grades: Read 'em here.

Was this wise? Maybe. Williams needed the rest. If Johnson needed it, he never would have told you so. Pierce has his shoulder thingy, and Garnett sweats a new ocean after each two-minute stint. There were reasons not to care, but there were also reasons to try and avoid Miami in the second round and stay in rhythm.

Also, I take a little more seriously Jason Kidd’s assertion that Garnett’s minutes load won’t increase in the playoffs given that he had absolutely no chance to increase it incrementally during the regular season. The Nets can probably only count on him for 22 minutes a game in the postseason.

WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?

Shaun Livingston, not doin’ things: He didn’t play. That toe is really actin’ up.

Can you give me a comparison for the number of fast-break dunks the Nets gave up in the second half? Sure thing!

Across the river: The Knicks lost to the Toronto Raptors, putting to bed their miserable season and giving them 37 wins, matching the SCHOENE projection that Knicks fans were quick to call absurd before the season began.

Take that, Masai Ujiri.

Next up: The Nets start what they’ve been building toward since Jan. 1. Saturday they get to show that they really were built for the playoffs.

 

Looking around the 'net to find out what writers said about the Nets, who dropped their season opener 98-94 to the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Cheering and wishing wasn’t enough. But Williams, who finished with seven points, nine assists and four turnovers, admitted to return late in the game would not have been wise after he sat for so long. After all, he only had just 10 preseason minutes of game activity — in the final exhibition — after rehabbing a sprained right ankle and bone bruise. “It was tough. It was tough to get in a rhythm when you’re limited like that. It seemed every time I did, I was coming out. So it’s tough. It’s tough to play like that. But that’s what I have to do for my team right now,” said Williams who indicated he has no idea when he will be ready to go like he is accustomed.

-Fred Kerber, New York Post -- Williams runs out of time in Nets opener

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Kevin Garnett, Tristan Thompson

0-1/82. (AP)

So is the season over?
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jaylifted

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Deron Williams

Deron Williams kicks his season off against Kyrie Irving & the Cleveland Cavaliers. (AP)

Finally. The Brooklyn Nets travel to Cleveland to take on the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers. here's how the squads break down:
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Today's installment of Better Know An Opponent focuses on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Let's take a look.... MORE →

 

Check out the advanced box score from last night's Brooklyn Nets blowout here...

 

AP

The Brooklyn Nets are in Cleveland taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. Here's three things to watch.
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Blowout tonight? We think so. After a few days of rest following back-to-back losses, the 42-31 Brooklyn Nets travel to Cleveland to take on the 22-51 Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, which means another chance to extend your streak in The BK Game Streak! The Cavaliers will be welcoming Kyrie Irving back into their lineup, while the Nets will be without Joe Johnson for the fifth straight game. The Nets won both matchups between these two teams this season, by 13 and 3 points.

The BK Game Streak is as simple as it sounds:

1. The contest relies on a standard betting line for each game. (Note: you must be logged into Facebook to play.) To make your prediction, select YES or NO to agree or disagree. For example: today's game is "Brooklyn will beat Cleveland by 10 or more points." If you think the Nets will win by 10 points or more, select "YES." If you think Brooklyn will win by 9 or fewer points, or Cleveland will pull off an upset, select "NO."

2. String together wins and try to get the longest streak of correct predictions before the end of the NBA regular season. Follow game results on the leaderboard on the right sidebar.

At the end of the season, we'll award three prizes to the players with the best three streaks: The Gold Net Trophy (longest streak) and a $200 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to first place, the Silver Net Trophy (second-longest streak) and a $50 Amazon Gift Card to second place, and the Bronze Net Trophy (third-longest streak) $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Bronze Net Trophy to third place.

Read more rules for the contest here.

Good luck!

 

AP

Tonight, the Brooklyn Nets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland. While that match-up alone probably doesn’t even make the most hardcore of Brooklyn fans salivate, there is one historic reason to watch this game: If the Nets can pull off a victory without Joe Johnson and possibly Gerald Wallace, then they will guarantee a road record above .500 for the first time in the franchise’s history.... MORE →

 

(By marcelodebiasi via Instagram)

...First Quarter Tweets next....

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