This can’t be what Lionel Hollins, a defensive coach, expected for his first day back at the office. The Nets couldn’t rebound, couldn’t get to loose balls, couldn’t defend the paint, couldn’t control the ball, and stood idly by as Boston’s rag-tag group of rebuilding pieces huddled around Rajon Rondo and dominated their shellshocked starting 5.
How comical did it get? Rajon Rondo banked in a three-pointer after taking Deron Williams off the dribble on back-to-back possessions for layups, then soon after rookie Marcus Smart goaded veteran Joe Johnson into fouling him as he buried a three-pointer and completed a four-point play. The defining moment of the night: an easy rebound, with three Nets watching the ball arc towards them, bounced off Brooklyn jerseys and out of bounds. Just that kind of night.
If there’s anything you can take as a positive, it’s that the Nets stopped the bleeding in the fourth quarter. But rigor mortis had already set in.