Jarrett Jack sure loves killing the Warriors, hitting the game-winning shot with 1.1 seconds left to key the victory.
First, the caveat: the Warriors are on their fourth game in five days, fifth in seven, and six in nine. This is clearly an exhausted version of the NBA’s best team.
But that’s about as far as it goes, because they are, after all, still the NBA’s best team, and the Nets held a lead nearly wire-to-wire, last trailing early in the first quarter against a team with the talent and expectation to dominate.
Defensively, the Nets locked down about as well as they’ve done all season, until Stephen Curry did, well, what Stephen Curry does, keying a fourth-quarter run that erased a ten-point lead.
This is a wholly different Nets team than the ones Barclays Center previously entertained this year. Barclays Center’s crowd didn’t even know how to react, rising with anticipatory cheers on nearly every shot attempt — for both teams — in the fourth quarter. This is the type of excitement that’ll keep them hunting for the playoffs.
In a flash, he’d dropped 20 points again. Seemed a bit more reticent to attack the basket than in the past two weeks, but hit his three-pointers with confidence, played solid team defense, spread the floor and created looks for teammates. But those fourth-quarter turnovers as the Nets lead evaporated could’ve stung.
Six games is quick to anoint a player the team’s best perimeter defender, but I think it’s time to do that with Markel Brown. He’s had some serious success checking MVP candidates James Harden & now Stephen Curry, and did just as well switched onto Klay Thompson.
It baffles me why he sat down the stretch as Stephen Curry caught fire and the Nets lead evaporated, particularly since the Deron Williams-Jarrett Jack combo has proven time and time again that it struggles. But then Jack hit the game-winning shot, so what do I know?
My latest theory is that Anderson and Joe Johnson switched bodies before the game. Created isolation looks late in the shot clock early on in the game, spread the floor, hitting spot-up threes among his first five shots, and continued to make an impact with open mid-range shots and defense. The ideal Alan Anderson game.
Quiet game, but they didn’t need him to force.
Struggled early with Andrew Bogut, earning a quick hook in the first quarter after Bogut picked up a few early offensive rebounds, and never really got into a rhythm outside of a late alley-oop from Thaddeus Young.
Established excellent deep position in the post and just dropped in easy buckets throughout. He’s at his best when he uses his size to dominate the paint, and when he kept his body inside, it made all the difference.
As per the rule, if you hit a game-winning shot, you get an A+ game grade. Let’s just say he wasn’t cruising to that until the final play, a killer mid-range jumper with Stephen Curry in his face to break the 108-108 tie.
Enjoyed a nice ovation from the crowd upon his entry in the first quarter, and earned it in the fourth, going toe-to-toe with Stephen Curry[note]Not a typo[/note], hitting two big three-pointers and getting a nice step-through post move layup.
Has solid potential as a fan favorite. One example: in the second quarter, Young ran down Justin Holiday on a fast-break, bothering him into a missed layup, then ran back the other way and converted a quick 5-on-4 floater:
It’s the little things.