1) Al Jefferson vs. Mason Plumlee.
We asked you to keep an eye on this during the last game, and sure enough, it became one of the game’s key matchups. The Nets hounded Jefferson, considered the league’s best active post player, on the low block, forcing him to make decisions he didn’t want to make and annoying him into a rough night by his lofty standards.
Jefferson usually finishes (either by shooting, getting fouled, or turning the ball over) nearly 12 possessions per game in post-up opportunities, but the Nets limited him to just eight post possessions, and didn’t let him score out of the post once after the first quarter, according to Synergy Sports. Jefferson ended the game with 18 points on 8-19 shooting, and turned the ball over five times.
The Nets have forced Jefferson into two consecutive bad games. In February, the Bobcats center scored just 12 points on 5-13 shooting as the Nets romped. We tried to push him off the block,” center Andray Blatche said of defending Jefferson after that game. “Whenever he did get the ball down low, we sent the guard to come down and dig (double-team), to try to discourage him.”
That was the same strategy they employed last Wednesday, and it worked again. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?