The Nets pounced early on a clearly fatigued and otherwise ill-prepared Hornets squad, that ran an offense that can be best described as an inquisitive stand-around, and rode their hot shooting and sound passing to an easy victory over an imploding team.
The Nets fired from deep early and often and manufactured open three after open three after open three, finishing the night with a ridiculous 16-23 three-point shooting mark, setting a franchise record.
Look: the Hornets are a bad team, but the Nets have played down to bad teams in the past. They didn’t tonight, and rode it to a dominating victory.
18 PTS, 4-11 FG, 10 AST, 3-4 3PT, 7-7 FT
He looked great in most aspects tonight; if making two-point shots was not a part of basketball he’d be cruising for a top grade: Williams has continued his mostly solid-if-depressingly-unspectacular all-around play creating open looks for Mason Plumlee & Joe Johnson, among others, and hitting enough deep shots to bolster his shooting.
But when he gets into the lane, he’s got to be a threat to score as well as a threat to create. Right now, he’s firmly the latter, and none the former.
Still a great game, even considering that.
3 PTS, 1-3 FG, 1 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL
Not a big believer in Karasev’s potential, but he’s got a touch of the Kirilenko Russian spatial-understanding gene (just a touch, calm down), which you can see with a few of his cross-court passes, particularly in the second quarter to find Deron Williams for an open three-pointer.
He’ll play catch-up on almost every defensive play that involves him for the foreseeable future, but he’s also had no business playing his way in the starting lineup in the first place.
22 PTS, 9-16 FG, 7 REB, 4-6 3PT, 3 AST, 2 STL
In the first quarter, he was Joe Inferno, dropping 14 points with relative ease on Gerald Henderson, kicking off the blowout, and finishing with a Joe Cool 22.
While he was with the team last season, Shaun Livingston once said Johnson’s scoring outbursts tended to creep up on people because he scores in so many different ways that you can’t create a pattern in your head for how he’s dominating.
11 PTS, 5-5 FG, 5 REB, 2 AST
Two games after putting up arguably the worst airball in NBA history and one game after bouncing back nicely from said airball, Jefferson earned his first career start with the Nets down three bigs, and held his own against the likes of Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson.
Jefferson has the talent to play in this league: he’s a rangy, athletic forward who can finish inside and time his defensive motions. He reportedly could have been selected higher, but didn’t want to get assigned overseas as many second-rounders do, and nearly fell out of the draft as a result.
Looks for real.
11 PTS, 13 REB, 5-8 FG, 1-6 FT, 2 AST
Took an ill-advised jumper early (bad), dove into the crowd to save a loose ball (good), kneed a kid in the head (bad).
For the record, Plumlee did eventually check in on the kid, who was unharmed on the play.
Dominated otherwise, but gets knocked down a peg for 1-6 free throw shooting.
17 PTS, 6-7 FG, 4-5 3P, 3 AST
A single A for double AA for four triples.
14 PTS, 5-9 FG, 5 AST, 2 REB
Played with the poise of a college gradute.