Even with the team struggling, Williams looked like a star in the first 31 minutes, deftly combining a suddenly voracious appetite for successful outside shooting with whizzing passes in and out of the lane. He hit his jumpers, but also took the ball to the rim on a few occasions, more often than in previous games.
In the next 21 minutes we saw a frightening Deron Williams: passive, tentative attacking, and missing all of his shots. The Nets needed Williams in the fourth and overtime, and he was nowhere to be found.
Then, naturally, Williams hit a big layup and two free throws in the last minute of the first overtime to help send the game to... DOUBLE OVERTIME! Because if there's anything we all want, it's 58 minutes of Nets-Wizards basketball.
JOE JOHNSON HIT THE GAME-WINNER IN DOUBLE OVERTIME FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON AND THAT RENDERS EVERYTHING ELSE HE DID IRRELEVANT. JOE JOHNSON IS THE REASON THIS 58-MINUTE BASKETBALL DEBACLE IS OVER. THANK YOU JOE JOHNSON HAVE A WONDERFUL EVENING.
Oddly, depressingly quiet game from Wallace -- didn't appear to make an impact until a key steal late helped cut the Wizards first overtime lead to 3.
BROOK LOPEZ GOT THE PUTBACK DUNK THAT GAVE THE NETS THE LEAD FOR HIS EIGHTH REBOUND.... and then promptly got scored on three seconds later to send the game to overtime. BROOK LOPEZ GOT HIS 12TH REBOUND AND HIT TWO FREE THROWS TO PUT THE NETS UP IN THE FIRST OVERTIME... rendered irrelevant after Bradley Beal nailed a 3.
Emotional reaction aside: Lopez got absolutely abused defensively -- the Wizards set up a high pick-and-roll, and once Lopez froze at the top to try to cut off the penetration, the ball went inside for open dunks or floaters. Offensively, though, another excellent showing from the Brookie Monster, and the huge rebound totals (even in a double-overtime game) are nothing to sneeze at, either. One frightening development: Lopez keeps bringing the ball down constantly, on rebounds, in the post, everywhere, and it leads to turnovers. Lopez had seven of them tonight. He's already got the best PER of all centers in the league; how much better can he be with minor fixes?
Promptly scored on and through the Washington boos and played effectively throughout most of the game, finishing with a double-double. Played well off of Lopez as a "power forward," even though he did everything he does as a center in the role. Oh: on three consecutive possessions in the third, Blatche hit a tough and-one shot off an offensive rebound, then promptly traveled trying to push the ball on a fast break on the next possession, then notched a dunk on the next possession. The Greatest Show In Sports.
Bogans gets an F for the first 53 minutes and an A for the last 5.
Bogans is shooting 44% from three-point range as a starter and well under 25% as a reserve. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
Really struggled in his short stint in the first half, but in all fairness, Carlesimo threw him in at an unnatural point guard position. Did hit a buzzer-beating floater, but struggled running the offense as the primary facilitator. Had a much more effective second half: hit an outside shot, attacked the lane for layups & fouls, and helped the Nets build a sliver of a lead in the fourth. Did get overtaken defensively on more than a few occasions.
Excellent beard, sublime rebounder, not a starter.
Jerry Stackhouse airballed a three-pointer, and with it my dreams died.
TWO FIRST HALF THREES!