A 10 point loss, not too bad when you look at it. It could have been much worse though. Jameer Nelson missed most of the first half in foul trouble, Vince Carter only played 1+ quarter, Orlando missed a bunch of open threes, and Rashard Lewis wasn't playing. Sorry to be negative (it usually isn't my style), but rewatching the game, we just didn't look good all night. Especially when defending the three. The Nets got lucky, the Magic were only 6-21 from 3, missing a good amount of open ones, that usually doesn't happen.
It wasn't pretty on offense either. Courtney and Devin showed flashes of good shooting, but it wasn't sustained. Yi looked pretty good, but he wasn't getting the ball enough. Then there was Brook. Brook struggled with foul trouble, and when he was in there, he just looked out of rhythm and he couldn't get the inside position that he wanted. Dwight Howard kept him away from the block, and Brook was forced to make his post-up moves 5-10 feet away from the basket, and that made him look uncomfortable. On to the video breakdown after the jump.
We are going to switch it up and start with the bad this time.
Defending The Three Pt. 1 - Transition D
What makes the Orlando Magic so difficult to guard is that they are Dwight Howard and 4 shooters. It isn't like our "wildcat" either, they got bigs who can shoot. Where this because the biggest problem is in transition. This play starts off of a missed layup.
When you defend in transition, you just pick up the guy closest to you and worry about match-ups later. The Nets do a pretty good job of matching up and getting to all of the shooters at the three point line, but the Magic just spread the floor, leaving Brook with a tough decision. Who to cover? With Peitrus still out of the shot, Brook tries to run down to Dwight and execute a switch.
Jayson Williams and the Magic notice this, so they kick it to Peitrus who us wide open. Brook, realizing he is in no man's land tries to get back, but he sunk in too low.
He can't get back in time and Peitrus gets the open three, he misses it though. So what should have the Nets done differently? The scary thing is not much. They did a terrific job at matching up with all of the shooters, but Brook was caught in no-man's land. The only thing that could have been done differently was when it comes to Brook recognizing everyone is match-up. He should have noticed that and stayed close to Pietrus who was trailing the play.
Defending The Three Pt. 2 - Poor Rotation
This set comes off of a made basket by the Nets. The Magic jog it up and get into a side pick and roll. Initially it is defended really well. Lopez edges just enough to stop the penetration and make Williams pick up his dribble. This gives Rafer Alston the time to get back on Williams
With Williams' dribble picked up he looks stuck. He has nowhere to go with the basketball really, and he ends up making the pass the Nets want him to make. Throwing the ball into the corner. The problem with that is Terrence Williams. Look at him, he is flat footed, and as much as it hurts me to say this, he is where the defensive breakdown begins.
Instead of allowing the catch to the corner where Barnes isn't really a threat. Terrence Williams goes for the steal, misses it, and allows Barnes a lane to drive.
Again, for the most part, the help is good. Brook provides good help as he stands tall and takes away the middle. Courtney Lee does his job and helps on Gortat. Again, all it takes is one mistake to break everything down. Najera should know that with Brook standing tall there is no way Barnes will find Bass (Najera's man). Najera should also notice that Lee has Gortat covered, and that the bigger threat is J.J. Reddick. That is where his rotation should be to. He doesn't go there, he goes in and doubles Gortat, who doesn't even have the basketball.
The result is the Nets allow the best three point shooter in the history of the ACC to catch the ball with nobody withing 10 feet of him. He ends up missing the shot, but he is wide open, and doesn't miss many of those. The Nets got lucky.
A guy who has looked really uncomfortable has been CDR. The first game is understandable he was in foul trouble the whole night, and couldn't really get into a flow. Last night though, it was just as if he wasn't on the court. I was shocked when I looked at the box score and saw he played 35 minutes. Not scoring, he is starting to force things, and this transition play is an example.
The play starts when Josh Boone deflects the ball and it bounces right into CDR's hands. It happened off of a dribble drive, so there is only one person back (Jayson Williams) on defense. CDR does the right thing and just dribbles it up the middle, allowing for his teammates to fill lanes.
Terrence Williams and Rafer Alston end up filling the same lane. See that red blob, that is both of them. While I think that CDR had no intention of passing it the whole time, it is possible that these two running the same lane could of confused CDR in that he didn't know who to pass to. Either Rafer or Terrence need to stop breaking and fill a different lane.
CDR does a good job of forcing the one man back to commit. Jayson Williams chooses to defend CDR, and right now if he would just dump it off to either Rafer or Terrence, it is an easy basket.
Instead CDR forces up a layup while falling down, and he misses it.
It wasn't all bad though (just mostly), and there was some good stuff I noticed. The main thing being that Brook has really impressed me at the high post. I touched on it briefly after the Minnesota game, but Brook is passing great the first couple of games. Here is another example:
Brook At The High Post
Here, Brook makes the catch at the high post, and now that he has shown he can hit that shot, you as the defender can't slouch off of him. So Dwight stays up on him, leaving a whole lot of open space open at the basket. CDR does a great job faking receiving the hand-off and cutting backdoor.
Look at Brook thread the needle. That is such a tiny window, that pass would be hard to make for a point guard. I really like how the offense looks when Brook is at the high post. The only problem is he is so good at the low post, that you don't want to keep him off the block permanently. In a game like last night though, Brook should have primarily stayed at the high post, setting picks and making passes like this, because he wasn't getting anything done on the block against Howard. After seeing this work early, I am surprised we didn't see it more often when Brook was out there.