Bobcats out-luck and out-design Brooklyn

Bobcats out-luck and out-design Brooklyn
Josh McRoberts, Mason Plumlee
Josh McRoberts put down this dunk in overtime to help sink the Nets. (AP)

Hello Derrick. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. I’m glad you enjoy salted lakes. Look cool while you lounge with a hoodie from The Brooklyn Game Store. Your support keeps us analyzing the guy you were traded for. Thanks!

Here’s a roundup of last night’s Nets festivities.

– Box Score –

What happened: The Brooklyn Nets forced their third consecutive overtime game for the first time in franchise history, coming back from an eight-point fourth-quarter Charlotte Bobcats lead to tie the game at 105 and force a bonus frame. But the Bobcats just hit one too many wild shots, and the Nets couldn’t hold on, losing on the road by a final score of 116-111.

Where they stand: Another rough night for Brooklyn in the playoff standings: a loss plus a Toronto Raptors win leaves the 37-33 Nets 2.5 games back from the 40-31 Toronto Raptors with just 12 games to play.

The Nets would have to go 12-0 for the rest of the season to equal last season’s record of 49-33.

That Was… Exhausting. It was exhausting to watch, I can’t even imagine how exhausting it was to play. That was Brooklyn’s third straight overtime game — again, that’s the first time that’s happened in franchise history — and it came in the span of four days, with all three games coming on the road.

The Bobcats hit some lucky, wild shots — Kemba Walker might as well have shot blindfolded, and Chris Douglas-Roberts hit a dagger two-pointer while barely having his feet set to put the Bobcats up five. Conversely, Joe Johnson — clutch master, robot, machine made exclusively of clutches, you know, that guy — missed a wide-open three at the top of the key that would’ve cut the lead to two with ample time remaining. Just plain bad luck.

There wasn’t much defense on either end, though I think SportVU would find the Nets took more open shots. But the Nets haven’t built their defense on their on-ball shot defense, they’ve built it on disruption, and the Nets only forced nine turnovers that led to nine points.

The oft-told quote from Brooklyn sports hero Branch Rickey is that luck is the residue of design, and the Nets didn’t design a victory tonight.

Game Grades: Read ’em here.


Deron Williams makes it a habit to score at Time Warner Cable Arena, and he didn’t disappoint in the first 12 minutes, dropping 18 points (higher than his per-game average) in the first quarter within the flow of the offense. Williams took advantaged of an undersized and undisciplined Kemba Walker, and he shot over a Bobcats defense that’s allowed 37.5 percent shooting from three-point range this season.

Williams went oddly quiet after that first quarter, scoring just two more points in the half and then not putting points on the board again until the fourth quarter. He finished with 29 points on 11-21 shooting, adding seven assists and four rebounds.

How a referee’s snap decision decided the game.

Jefferfather: The Nets have thrown double-teams and tough coverage at Al Jefferson in the team’s two matchups with Jefferson on the floor, and before tonight, it worked: Jefferson shot just 13-32 in two Nets victories. But Jefferson finally figured out Brooklyn’s double-team timing, putting up quick shots and dropping a big 22 points in the first half alone.

The Nets are not built to defend post shots well: they’re a long, disruptive team that tries to push guys off the block and force turnovers before the ball even gets into the paint. So it’s not a surprise that Jefferson, one of the league’s best post players, finally figured out some combination of plays and moves to counter Brooklyn’s aggressiveness.

Jefferson finished with a huge 35 points on 15-27 shooting, adding 15 rebounds in 41 minutes.

Oh, so Mason Plumlee kicked Al Jefferson in the face:

Click for the GIF.
Click for the GIF.

This happened late in the fourth quarter. Mason Plumlee can jump really high. Al Jefferson has a face. I’ll leave the rest for the GIF to tell.

The Ghosts of Newark Past: Monday night, former New Jersey Nets guard Anthony Morrow sank the Nets with two big three-pointers in overtime to seal a New Orleans Pelicans victory. Wednesday night, former New Jersey Nets forward Chris Douglas-Roberts hit an off-balance, fallaway jumper with under 20 seconds left to put the Bobcats up 5 and clinch the victory.

Good news for the Nets: they play the Cavaliers Friday, who don’t have anyone that used to play professionally in New Jersey.

I just have so many questions about this guy:

And almost all of them involve his bow tie.
And almost all of them involve his bow tie.

Injurious: Marcus Thornton (back), Andrei Kirilenko (ankle), Kevin Garnett (back) all missed Wednesday night’s game.

My Thoughts At The Half: Are these teams allergic to defense?

Apparently so. The two teams combined for 227 points on 175 shots and 39 free throws, and each team committed just nine turnovers.

This is as Mirza As A Shot Chart Will Ever Get:

Teletovic took 12 shots, all from above the break for three, and buried six of them. After a shooting slump that nearly lasted two months, it looks like he’s regained his stroke. Good for him. I have also copyrighted Pogo Teletostick as his new nickname.

Important Update On Nelly’s Whereabouts:

Jorge Gutierrez was ejected: For this flagrant-2 foul on Bobcats forward Cody Zeller.

It does look like a tackle in real time, but if you watch the replay, it just looks like Gutierrez got caught in the air and had nowhere to land. Nonetheless, a flagrant-2 foul often happens when there’s contact in the head & neck area, which is what happened here. I wouldn’t expect a hefty (or any) fine for Gutierrez.

The rookie guard also played well in 19 minutes, looking like a real rotation player. The Nets have to decide whether or not to re-sign him for the rest of the season today. I’d expect them to.

Next up: The Nets will have the day off Thursday before returning home Friday, ending their three-game (1-2) road trip. They’ll take on the 29-44 Cleveland Cavaliers, in the midst of a fight for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference with the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks.