The Nets haven’t made a lot of comebacks this season, which made this afternoon’s game all too surprising: after their requisite third-quarter collapse, the Nets clawed back on the backs of their new starting center and one of their backup guards, turning a double-digit deficit into a slight victory.
The Nets have a lot to build on from this game, good and bad: their interior defense struggled at times to contain the Celtics, who are not particularly great inside. They struggled to convert from outside, outside of Alan Anderson. They nearly allowed the Celtics to tie the game at the end of regulation, somehow allowing Gerald Wallace to throw a pinpoint 92-foot pass and give Jared Sullinger a clean look at the rim.
A win’s a win, and a comeback win on the road is sweet, with a fun, heart-stopping ending. Now time to build tomorrow vs. the Indiana Pacers.
27 PTS, 8-14 FG, 10-10 FT, 7 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL
Made some early shots but they weren’t good looks, which left me worrying about his habits over the course of the game.
Naturally, those habits continued to be bad, as he continued to make the shots, rolling with a season-high 27 points, mostly on contested mid-range jumpers, capping it with a 14-footer to give the Nets a 106-104 lead, which they held for good, and the game-clinching free throws.
Basketball is a really weird sport.
7 PTS, 3-7 FG, 1-2 3PT, 5 REB, 2 AST
Smart work inside for a guard, getting a tough floater, reverse layup, and pretty assist to Mason Plumlee all within 15 feet of the basket.
Hard to put him on anyone that can score, though.
I see little difference between him and Bogdanovic at this point, and if Bogdanovic has the kinds of struggles he does away from Barclays Center, it makes sense to keep rolling with him.
9 PTS, 4-13 FG, 0-3 3PT, 2 REB, 1 AST
One of those games where Johnson didn’t have much of an impact; tried to get some of his offense going in the fourth but only put down one field goal and missed a free throw that would’ve put the Nets up three with two seconds left.
6 PTS, 3-5 FG, 4 REB
I’m going to use this time to say that both Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee are each better with Garnett flanking them than the other. On defense, Garnett vocalizes and cleans their defensive miscues, and on offense, Garnett is the best mid-range shooter of the three, while you want Lopez and Plumlee both hanging around the rim.
14 PTS, 6-7 FG, 2-6 FT, 12 REB, 3 AST
Has really developed on the offensive end, and that doesn’t mean a jumper: on one play, Plumlee caught a pass out of the pick-and-roll from Deron Williams, and passed up a tough, awkward look in lieu of an open corner three-pointer for Alan Anderson. It’s the little things.
Kept the train rolling in the fourth quarter as the Nets tried to mount a comeback, including a pretty and-one layup over an elbowing Evan Turner.
At this point I think he’s become self-aware as !EELMULP. There’s no other logical explanation for how he tries to shoot reverse layups with complete abandon.
8 PTS, 2-6 FG, 4-6 FT, 4 REB, 4 AST
Got into the game at the end of the first quarter, and started attacking right away in the second, drawing two fouls in the paint.
Played well in his return — struggled to hit from outside, but tracked down loose balls, and set up enough teammates to earn more than the four assists he ended the game with.
8 PTS, 4-7 FG, 1 REB
Made his entrance into the game a little sooner than Wednesday night, and struggled again, hitting a couple of mid-range jumpers and one post-up move, otherwise looking uninvolved on both ends of the floor.
There’s a lack of aggression on his part that’s alarming. It’s not systemic, either: this is the same guy that got easy buckets game after game not two seasons ago, and was developing into a solid rim protector before his foot injury cut him down.
Lopez did make his one rebound — an offensive board that he threw back in for a reverse — count, but grabbing just one rebound is indicative of a bigger issue.
15 PTS, 5-7 FG, 3-4 3PT, 2 AST, 2 STL
Even before he hit a game-tying layup and a game-tying three-pointer down the stretch, Alan Apostle played a Joe Jesus-esque in the team’s fourth-quarter comeback, getting free for a dunk behind a pick-and-roll, hitting a corner three-pointer, and finding Bojan Bogdanovic for a layup in one sequence.