Everyone in this game gets a slight downgrade from the grade I’d like to give them for the total team effort. Yes, Stephen Curry is just going to hit threes sometimes — he’s very good at that. But the Nets turned the ball over in the fourth quarter like that was basketball’s mission, gave up offensive rebounds and open shots to David Lee, and rushed their way towards trying to win this one against a team that’s better at rushing. They lost this game, on their home court, fair and square, despite some excellent individual showings. Here’s your Net Worth:
Controlled the pace of the game really well in the first quarter, but lost that control when trying to push at the Warriors pace in the middle quarters. Started to find his touch more early in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hit pull-up quick shots down the stretch and there wasn’t much defense for the way Stephen Curry was shooting. Did his best and did what he felt he had to do late, but the late-game offense essentially boiled down to “find Deron for three” and it didn’t exactly work to perfection.
Is Mo Johnson finally dead and gone!? Did Joe hear our prayers? Johnson came out firing early, and after missing his first corner 3 caught fire from inside and outside the arc. The Nets went to him in the low post early in Lopez-esque fashion and he delivered, hitting three straight shots from there (the third an and-1), then spacing him out. He hit threes that barely touched the net en route to 20 first-half points. Played with a similar intensity in the second half, though not as successful — the Nets went away from the ball movement that had gotten him good looks and started purposefully isolating him, leading to more low-percentage shots out of the offensive flow. But in the context of the team, he was great tonight. Mo Johnson was nowhere to be found.
Functional, but thought he got caught out of position defensively one too many times. Wallace did get stuck guarding one of the two Warriors shooters often, and just wasn’t quick enough to hold them back. But though Crash’s effort doesn’t change, this wasn’t his best game.
Preserved a few possessions that led to second-chance points in the first half, but even without Lopez available, sat more minutes than expected, and it didn’t seem wrong to sit him. Outside of a few above-average games, he doesn’t seem like the same player from the past two seasons.
Enormous double-double. Yes. Efficient. Yes. Some big dunks inside to keep this one within a sliver of possibility in the final minute. Yes. Another solid game for the Zero Hero’s standards, though his effort boxing out David Lee resembled a beached goldfish. But the most important part of this evening cannot go unmentioned: the pure ferocity with which Blatche stared down a three-point attempt, with seconds ticking off of the second quarter, was palpable. The entire arena knew he was going to shoot it. It was destiny, completely unnecessary, wonderful destiny. There is no show in the NBA quite like the Andray Blatche show, for better or for worse, and no more perfect explanation of the better Blatche than that three-pointer.
Avery Johnson said before tonight’s game that his bench players can’t get 50 chances; they’ve got to be efficient right out of the gate. Seemed like a direction to MarShon, who made one brief cameo and did nothing with it.
An oddly subdued game from Evans. Seemed like the effort was there when going for rebounds, but the effort just didn’t come to fruition.
Pregame, Avery Johnson mentioned that Watson’s shot just hasn’t looked right lately and that they’d spoken with him about fixing it. Seems like it worked: Watson hit two threes tonight and looked like the best player off the Nets’ bench. Unfortunately, that didn’t say much.