Hello Jay-Z. I see you're hanging out around Brooklyn these days. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. Pick up some new gear to freshen up that wardrobe, and maybe a phone case for Beyonce at The Brooklyn Game Store. Your support keeps us going. Hope your next album drops soon.
Here's a roundup of last night's Brooklyn Nets festivities:
What happened: The Nets lost to the Detroit Pistons, 111-95, sitting their starters for the last 19:28 of the game. Pistons coach Mo Cheeks kept the Pistons starters in, and Brandon Jennings ended the game one assist short of a triple-double, with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. Josh Smith added 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists of his own, and Andre Drummond dominated the glass, with 16 points and 22 big rebounds in 40 minutes.
The Nets trailed 67-44 at the half, the 67 being the most they've given up in any half this season. They fall to 0-3 against the Pistons this season, 22-26 overall, and 2-9 on the second game of back-to-backs.
Where they stand: At 22-26, the Nets fall to 3.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for the Atlantic Division lead, and maintain the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They're just one game ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats for the seventh seed.
That was... Over early, and ugly. The Nets fell behind by as much as 24 points in the first half, getting beat upcourt and shooting like they were trying to hit the rim. A late flurry made the game look closer than the atrocity it really was, and a 16-point loss still looks bad.
All-Around Barrage: The Nets had no answer for... well, anyone in Detroit. Every member of the Pistons starting 5 scored in double-digits in the first half except for Andre Drummond, who had eight and quickly scored two more in the third quarter. Everything the Nets tried to do, the Pistons did back, and better. Hit some threes? Brandon Jennings hits leaning pull-up threes. Try to attack the rim? Josh Smith will take Shaun Livingston off the dribble and slam one home. Try to leak out in transition with one player? Detroit will try to dunk with TWO.
Game Grades: Read 'em here.
Eminem Wrote A Song About This: The Nets got to their hotel around 3 A.M. Thursday night. Considering that the Nets don't have a shootaround on back-to-backs, I don't think that makes much of a difference. But it is worth noting.
Killed By The Short Game: The Pistons scored 40 points in the paint in the first half alone, 38 of those 40 coming in the restricted area. Andre Drummond rebounded over Andray Blatche like Blatche wasn't even there, Josh Smith took guys off the dribble (even guards like Shaun Livingston!), and Greg Monroe poured on the points. The Nets just didn't have the length or defensive acumen to stop the Pistons from controlling the paint and the glass, and the Nets lost the rebounding game 57-40.
Livingston, like everyone else that has something above a marginal role on this team, had a pretty horrid game. This was actually the only shot he hit all night. But two things: 1) it was impossibly cool, and 2) it was the last lead the Nets would have. So look at it wistfully, like an uncle you only knew as a toddler and have nothing but vague, happy memories of.
Ian Eagle, Out Of Context: "What was that? It sounded like you had a little gas."
Here are ten things I'd rather watch than the Nets lose like this:
1) A flickering lamp
2) Glen Davis licking his lips
3) A sad dog walking towards a burning building as Sarah McLoughlin strums a guitar behind me
4) Steak get overcooked
6) A Target employee describe the differing quality in their store-brand socks
7) An elderly man poop in a KFC cup and leave it in my apartment stairwell (*-Note: this may have actually happened)
8) Brook Lopez reading his own fan fiction aloud
9) Kevin Garnett's reaction to a 37-minute Tim Duncan YouTube Highlight Mix
10) A man in front of me in a cafe line loudly argue that his Starbucks Gift Card should be applicable at any damn cafe he goes to, thank you very much
My Thoughts At The Half: 23 points. 24 minutes. Maybe?
Not Even A Lack Of Sight Can Stop Josh Smith:
Mirza Teletovic smacked Josh Smith in the face as Smith rose for the dunk, and Smith called blind and got the flush. Teletovic was automatically assessed a flagrant-one foul, which happens any time someone gets hit above the neck.
Makes sense that Smith plays as well with his eyes open as he does with them closed. He should start a band with Andray Blatche.
White Flaggin': The Nets threw out a lineup of Marquis Teague, Jason Terry, Alan Anderson, Mirza Teletovic, and Mason Plumlee with 19:28 left in the game and the Nets down 29. The lineup, which later switched Reggie Evans in but kept the starters glued to the bench, actually didn't do a bad job; Jason Terry hit a bunch of threes and Reggie Evans some free throws, but ultimately it was too little, too late.
The Blowout All-Star: Concrete proof that, at least this season, Jason Terry shoots like a Jesus Shuttlesworth in a blowout and Reggie Evans in a tight game.
Donny Marshall, Out of Context: "One Dookie, outrunning another Dookie..."
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it: Mirza Teletovic finished the game 0-5 from three-point range, but did hit one shot: a whirling, 38-foot, basically-one-handed three-pointer a few tenths of a second after the first-quarter buzzer.
— Mirza Teletovic (@Teletovic33) February 7, 2014
Worth re-stating: The Nets are 2-9 on the second half of back-to-backs, the second-worst record in the league in those situations. But that also means they're 20-17 in all other situations, and there are no back-to-backs in the playoffs.
Across the river: The New York Knicks rested their starters in the fourth quarter too, but for an entirely different reason: they hosted & toasted the Denver Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony's former team, winning 117-90. Anthony finished with 31 points in 32 minutes.
Next up: The Nets have off Saturday before taking on the New Orleans Pelicans, led by replacement All-Star Anthony Davis.