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.
19 PTS, 6-16 FGA, 8 AST, 2 STL, 4 TOV
After a somewhat disastrous first half all around, Williams came out firing in the third quarter, hitting a few sharp midrange jumpers and facilitating a semi-coherent offense. But Rajon Rondo made him look foolish on a few possessions, and when Marcus Smart picked him clean in the fourth quarter and peeled downcourt for a layup, the frustration showed. Some smart passes, and the IQ is still there, but
Didn’t stand out in his first taste of NBA competition. Could see him becoming an intriguing fourth option or second-unit leader when this team’s fully healthy. Hard to expect him to fit right into an NBA offense. Giving him a mulligan, hoping he’ll eventually show off the scoring instincts that made him a Euroleague star.
19 PTS, 7-19 FGA, 2-5 3PT, 6 REB
With an oddly problematic first quarter on offense, the Nets took the rest of their starters off the court, keeping in Joe Johnson as they witnessed the first session at the Church of Latter-Day Iso Joe.
Johnson seemed progressively more irritated with the team’s offensive deficits, but after a few early shots, he didn’t get back into a rhythm in the third quarter.
10 PTS, 5-8 FGA, 6 REB, 4 TOV
Contrary to popular occurrence, the Nets struggled mightily with Garnett at center during a second-quarter stretch. With a team that can spread out like the Celtics can, Garnett can only cover so many mistakes.
Biggest moment came in the fourth, drawing a technical foul after a spat with Kelly Olynyk and hearing “K-G!” chants from the pro-Boston-thus-pro-Garnett crowd.
Played a six-minute first stint, proving that there really IS a new coach on the sideline.
4 PF, 2 BLK, 2 TOV
Watch his highlight reels and you’ll see an ebullient defender, but Plumlee mixed in some big blocks with some flaky help and on-ball defense against Kelly Olynyk.
He’ll do as a starter if he can figure out a defensive routine next to Kevin Garnett, but that didn’t happen in the first half, and it cost them. Four fouls in your first 12 minutes is not a good start to your sophomore season.
20 PTS, 8-11 FGA, 4-6 3PT, 4 REB
Mirza gonna Mirza. Had a few possessions where he legitimately looked like he was 20 feet away from where he was supposed to be, and then nearly fired the Nets back into the game in the fourth quarter with a reckless three-point barrage.
0-3 FG, 3-4 FT
Can’t make a layup.
8 PTS, 4-6 FGA, 2 AST, 2 REB
Might’ve been the only Nets player to get to a loose ball more than once all game, and made fewer mistakes than everyone else.