Good morning, Mr. President. The Nets blew through their borough rivals in a Friday night marquee matchup. Here’s a roundup of what happened:
What happened: In their inaugural borough battle, the Brooklyn Nets made mincemeat of Manhattan, putting up a dominant end-to-end performance and winning 110-99. The Nets led by double digits the entire second half.
Where they stand: At 3-2, the Nets stand second in the Atlantic Division, behind only the Toronto Raptors.
That was… Exactly what the Nets needed. After a rough 98-91 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night, the Nets threw together a sublime offensive performance, hitting 14 of 24 (mostly open) three-pointers and out-scoring the Knicks handily through each of the first three quarters. It wasn’t always easy, and the first half certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Nets kept the pressure on for all 48 minutes as the Knicks dissipated.
The Nets will tell you that their defense carried them through this win. While it’s true that the Nets have to get stops to win games — again, just look at Wednesday night — this was absolutely an offensive explosion. The Nets dropped 110 points in roughly 97 possessions, including a season-high 14 three-pointers, and most of them came from open looks from the outside created out of either their flex offense or New York’s lax defense.
“We’re getting wide open looks,” Joe Johnson said of the team’s offensive performance. “I think a lot of guys had wide-open shots tonight.”
Do The Damn Thing, Deron Williams:
D-Will his strongest game in an already strong start to his season, dropping 29 points on 10-15 shooting and adding six assists in 33 minutes. Williams exuded complete control over this team’s offensive explosion: he ensured the team ran through its offensive sets, hit his open shots, and absolutely abused Iman Shumpert during a third-quarter stretch to put the game out of reach for good. If the Nets can rely on this Deron Williams night in and night out, they’re going to make serious noise in the Eastern Conference.
Iman Shumpert took responsibility for Deron Williams' big night: "I got abused on my matchup." #Knicks
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 8, 2014
Lionel Hollins, Never Satisfied: “If we play like the first three quarters, we can be pretty good. If we play like the 4th quarter, we won’t be anything.”
Game Grades: Read ’em here.
I Went To A Whistle Convention And A Basketball Game Broke Out: The Nets & Knicks combined for 47 free throws and 48 fouls in 48 minutes, with the Nets going to the line 20 times in the first half alone. Brook Lopez was able to shake off Wednesday night’s funk by drawing fouls on New York’s inept interior defenders.
Quincy Acy, Not A Scorer:
Brook’s Return: After struggling with Nikola Pekovic’s brute strength, Lopez had a lot less trouble with the likes of Jason Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Samuel Dalembert, dropping 20 easy points on 6-10 shooting and 8-10 from the line.
Hey Brook, What Harry Potter House Would You Be In?
Brook Lopez wearing a Hufflepuff shirt postgame. pic.twitter.com/swgRlSqUUF
— devin kharpertian (@uuords) November 8, 2014
Lopez confirmed after to The Brooklyn Game that he would be in Hufflepuff “all the way” if he attended Hogwarts. “You get to choose what house you’re in. The books taught us that.”
Celebrity Watch: Adam Silver, Ben Stiller, Craig Carton, Spike Lee.
Flexing: The Nets ran their motion offense to near-perfection tonight, getting solid looks from all over the floor with optimal spacing. Most of their shots inside the arc were created in isolation or on pick-and-roll sets that were initiated by the flex, with one player attacking the basket or creating an open look for himself.
The rarest sight in basketball: It’s almost impossible for a player to get an unassisted corner three-pointer; nearly every corner three is created from a player driving to the basket and drawing help defense off the corner. The shot usually needs to get fired up as quickly as possible, since the corner’s the easiest spot on the floor to recover to beyond the three-point line. So it only makes it even more impressive that Alan Anderson not only hit two unassisted corner three-pointers, but he hit two unassisted corner three-pointers on consecutive possessions.
The first came on a Joe Johnson pass, where Anderson took one dribble back and waited ab eat before firing it up, the second came off a careening offensive rebound where the Knicks again just didn’t care enough to defend.
The Triumphant Return Of #BrookLopezFace:
This latest & greatest iteration of Brook Lopez’s face came after Lopez was called for a dubious foul against Carmelo Anthony. He was not impressed with the refereeing. Missed U.
Weird Math: The Nets were out-rebounded (43-42), out-assisted (22-18), committed more turnovers (16-14), were outscored in the paint (36-30) and on second-chance points (17-8)… and beat the snot out of the Knicks.
Next up: The Nets love this game-day-off-day-game-day routine: their next game comes Sunday against the Orlando Magic, their last of four games at home before they embark on a three-game road trip.