So chances are you didn’t see Nets-Pistons tonight. You might have followed along on Twitter (and if you didn’t, you should!), but unless you were in Barclays Center or watching an illegal stream, you have no idea what happened, not just on the court, but the feeling in the arena.
So, while you may be able to find the final score online (the Nets lost, 99-88), here’s ten things I ingested.
1) There was significantly less Jay-Z on the speakers tonight. Every pregame last season felt like the DJ’s ode to Jay-Z’s hits. Tonight was a mish-mash of pop stars, from Bruno Mars to Lady Gaga to Akon to Bob Sinclar and back. But Jay-Z? Nope. Even when the Nets took the court, they took it to Biggie’s “Ten Crack Commandments,” except “Crack” was censored so it just became “Ten Commandments” which I don’t think Biggie would necessarily appreciate.
It took until about thirteen minutes before the game that Jay-Z finally hit the speakers, in the form of “Public Service Announcement,” which is so good that it might be a crime not to play it before every game. But that was it.
2) Right before the opening tip, Kevin Garnett yelled towards section 115, pounded his chest, and implored them to make noise. I only remember Reggie Evans doing that last season. Means a little more coming from Kevin Garnett. This season’s going to be so much fun.
3) With the starters in, the Nets offense looked unbelievably crisp in ways that were frankly hard to keep track of. For one: the ball movement was unspeakably good. The ball swung from side to side on more than one occasion, keeping Pistons defenders off balance until an open space opened up. And man, did they. The Nets hit six of their first seven shots, most of them open shots either at the rim or from midrange for Kevin Garnett.
4) The Nets made a concerted effort to get the ball cross-court quickly after made Pistons shots. There’s been a lot of talk about how the team’s going to work best in a plodding offense, but slow doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t get quick shots in a half-court set. When they get the ball over the line within three or four seconds, they can do two things: get semi-transition opportunities before Detroit sets up their defense, or just have more time to run through their half-court offense and find a shot with that crisp ball movement.
5) Andray Blatche got into a shoving match with Pistons rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope after Caldwell-Pope and Alan Anderson got tangled up. Anderson kept jawing with Caldwell-Pope throughout the game. Later, Caldwell-Pope took down Marko Jaric on a fast-break with an excessive foul, earning a flagrant-one and hearing boos rain from the crowd.
KG just bullied Jonas Jerebko, slapping the ball out of his hands after Jerebko was called for a violation.
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) October 13, 2013
7) The Nets played their starters (with Shaun Livingston in for the injured Deron Williams) for the first six-ish minutes of the first and second quarter, with the first sub being Andrei Kirilenko in for Kevin Garnett. Jason Kidd using Kirilenko as a second big wing and a “small” power forward next to Paul Pierce opens up some incredible possibilities for the Nets on the offensive end. More on that later this week.
8) I don’t have official numbers, but there were a LOT of people in the stands for a Nets-Pistons preseason game.
8) The Pistons had an alley-oop party at Brooklyn’s bench’s expense, throwing down slam after slam over Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans in the paint. Andre Drummond in particular threw down a few impressive slams as Evans, Blatche, and Kirilenko looked on helplessly. Part of that is that Brooklyn’s flat-out weak protecting the paint with their backups in the game, but part of that is also that Andre Drummond is just incredibly talented close to the basket.
The game has gotten to the point where KG and Pierce are playing with their towels on the bench. pic.twitter.com/56E1Osb5X9
— Max Weisberg (@maxw16) October 13, 2013
10) The Nets now have three injured point guards: Deron Williams, Jorge Gutierrez, Tyshawn Taylor. They combine to own three healthy ankles. Taylor injured the ankle on a fast-break, throwing an alley-oop off the backboard to Andray Blatche and coming down awkwardly. It did not look serious at the outset, as he walked it off and shot his free throws, but no sense risking it in a meaningless preseason game. The Nets ended up playing Marko Jaric at point guard, who looked like someone’s really tall uncle that accidentally stumbled onto the court.
11) Deron Williams did three push-ups every time someone hit a 3. Unfortunately, the team finished 4-18 from three, so he didn’t do many.
Mason Plumlee just made a move that was called for traveling. Plumlee walking away: "That's not a f—ing travel." Learning from KG already.
— The Brooklyn Game (@TheBKGame) October 13, 2013