Check out the advanced box score, I guess.
5 final thoughts, including a question about a referee decision, after the jump.
- The Nets were powered on the offensive end down the stretch by one Andray Blatche, who made all five of his shots in the fourth quarter and scored the team’s final eight points. The über-versatile Blatche, known for his crafty dribbling moves, ridiculous shots, and steady diet of midrange jumpers, put up this incredibly simple fourth-quarter shot chart:
If Nets coach Jason Kidd wants any kind of reliable production from the oft-precarious big man, he should lock him in a video room with a running loop of Blatche’s possessions on offense in the fourth quarter until he realizes how good he can be when he stays near the paint.
- But for all of Blatche’s good down the stretch on the offensive end of the floor, the Nets got thoroughly outclassed on the other end of the floor, particularly when it came to rebounding. Jeff Adrien tapped out so many offensive rebounds you’d think no one else was even trying to ascertain them. With the Nets staging a furious comeback from a sixteen-point deficit in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats picked up seven offensive rebounds. Even though the Bobcats only scored two second-chance points and shot an abysmal 3-21 in the fourth quarter, every second you have the ball when you’re ahead gets you one second closer to a victory.
- One official-related question of mine that I’m hoping someone more in touch with the rules can answer for me. On the final possession of Wednesday night’s game, the Nets didn’t foul immediately, looking instead to force an eight-second call in the backcourt. They nearly succeeded, too — the Bobcats advanced the ball in the backcourt for about five seconds before calling an emergency time-out. Except when they re-entered the game, the Bobcats inbounded in the frontcourt, even though they hadn’t advanced possession.
Here’s about where Kemba Walker called time-out:
And here’s where they inbounded the ball:
As you can see, that’s in the frontcourt, even though the Bobcats never made it over the line before the timeout. That’s a blatant error, no?
It may seem minor, and the Nets certainly played well enough to lose Wednesday night. But unless I’m missing a recent rule change, the Bobcats had no right to inbound the ball in their frontcourt. Since teams only have eight seconds to cross the half-court line, that means the Bobcats would’ve needed to get the ball over in three seconds or risk losing possession. That could’ve made a huge difference in a game separated only by two points.
- The Nets may have only lost this game by four points, and there was that wild moment late in the fourth quarter when it almost seemed like they had a shot at victory. But the second half featured yet another classic Nets third-quarter collapse, and though the score may make it seem like a competitive back-and-forth game, the Nets played catch-up throughout the final 24 minutes as the Bobcats converted open looks from all over the floor. For all the talk of Lawrence Frank and Kevin Garnett impacting the Nets defense, they now stand just 26th in the league in defensive efficiency, even worse than that with Garnett on the floor. They haven’t played many offensive juggernauts, either — six of their eight losses have come against teams in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency.
- One final caveat, that I’m hoping doesn’t become a routine: the Nets should have beaten this team, even with their injuries. But without Brook Lopez anchoring the middle, this team falls apart on both sides of the floor, and without a healthy Deron Williams, they can’t expect to go anywhere. Lots has gone wrong already — and believe me, you’ll see more on that in the coming days on The Brooklyn Game — but without those two and Andrei Kirilenko healthy, we won’t see what this team is capable of.