Check out the advanced box score from last night’s 109-95 Nets loss here.
- First, the good: Brook Lopez had himself yet another sound game, scoring inside (mostly on tip-ins and shots near the rim) and putting together another decent enough rebounding night (18.9% of all available rebounds) to continually quell the “he can’t rebound” brigade. Unfortunately for the Nets, his biggest weakness (speedy defense) was exposed with the rest of the roster during Atlanta’s transition bucket brigade Wednesday night. But without question, he was the silver lining surrounding the dark cloud.
The only thing that keeps Lopez from a being a double-double threat (note: “threat,” not “monster” or “guarantee”) every night is that both Johnson and Carlesimo keep him on a relatively consistent leash around 30 minutes. Part of that is because Andray Blatche deserves those extra minutes, but it’s also due to the fact that Lopez isn’t someone the Nets want to wear out quickly. He’s not an athletic marvel that should play 36-40 minutes night in and night out like Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. Save his body for the playoffs while keeping him active. Fine with me.
- Now, the bad: Deron Williams Wednesday was the antithesis to Deron Williams Tuesday; though his peripheral stats were fine (nine assists, five rebounds, only one turnover), Williams stood no chance cutting off Teague or Harris on their way to the rim, didn’t defend well (perhaps because of miscommunications) when they shot from outside, and shot 5-18 from the field, 2-9 from beyond the arc and 1-5 from midrange.
The only player that looked worse than Williams — and perhaps Bogans, who was 0-6 from the field, all from deep — was his backcourt counterpart Johnson, who upon return to his old Atlanta stomping grounds, looked like the player the Nets don’t want to resurface; the stumbling isolationist artist that couldn’t handle double-teams. In fairness to Johnson, he doesn’t feel like those double-teams were effective, but his teammates