The Nets will play a 44-minute preseason game Sunday afternoon against the Boston Celtics, in a landmark decision that could change the future of the NBA. In preparation for playing four fewer minutes this weekend, the Nets got five extra ones in this week.
The Nets staved off the Sacramento Kings, blowing a late fourth-quarter lead before winning in overtime in the second of their two NBA Global Games in China over the Sacramento Kings, 129-117.
With Lionel Hollins returning from illness to coach and Kevin Garnett out to rest, The Nets took a 32-21 first-quarter lead behind 14 points from Brook Lopez, but struggled with their starters off the floor, shooting 4-16 and getting outscored 36-16 in the second quarter. The Nets fired back in the second half behind Mirza Teletovic’s reckless shooting and a youth infusion, but a late three-pointer by Sacramento’s Omri Casspi tied the game at 112 and eventually sent this one to overtime.
Teletovic led the Nets with 22 points, with Mason Plumlee adding 18 and Brook Lopez 16. 14 of Lopez’s 16 points came in the first quarter.
Some notes on the game after the jump:
- Trying to glean regular-season insights from preseason statistics is like learning how to ride a Harley Davidson by watching someone build a bicycle. Preseason is the season for experimentation, for looking at how offenses run and tinkering with different lineup combinations against NBA competition. With that in mind, the Nets offense fell apart without one of Lopez, Johnson, or Williams on the floor. While they probably won’t run their second unit as many minutes as they do in preseason, they’ll need to find some kind of offensive continuity when those three need rest, or at least minimize the time when they’re all off the floor.
- The Nets started Mirza Teletovic in Garnett’s place, and Teletovic responded by hitting two threes in the first quarter and four threes in the third, firing the ball like was allergic to it. His hilarious fourth-quarter — in which he shot nearly every time he touched the ball until the Kings quadruple-teamed him and he got his shot blocked by an elbow — aside, Teletovic belongs in the rotation. But Garnett is also the team’s lone good rebounder for his position in the starting lineup, and while Teletovic is an underrated rebounder/defender, a Williams-Bogdanovic-Johnson-Teletovic-Lopez lineup would be one of the worst rebounding lineups in the league.
- Preseason Nets overtime: a tradition unlike any other.
- If my life was in danger and I needed to pick someone to score 10 points in the first 8 minutes of a game to survive, I think I’d choose Brook Lopez and walk out without a scratch.
- Athletic opponents will be a problem for this team.
- Joe Johnson said he slept through the team’s sightseeing day. He might still be sleeping.
- Alert: Andrei Kirilenko hit five of six free throws in the first half.
- Jerome Jordan hasn’t officially made the team, but… Jerome Jordan’s probably making this team. He’s earned it so far in these two games overseas. He’s surprisingly mobile for a guy at his utterly massive size, and smart enough to be in the right spaces on the floor for his skill set.
- The Nets ran out a lineup for the last few minutes that had an average age of about seven, with Jorge Gutierrez, Sergey Karasev, Willie Reed, Cory Jefferson, and Mason Plumlee running the floor to close it out. The lineup featured some electrifying plays, including a showtime block from “Showtime” Willie Reed and a pretty alley-oop feed from Gutierrez to Jefferson. But they also threw away three passes out-of-bounds by my count. Plumlee was the definitive playmaker in this lineup, this lineup that ended an overtime game, in case you thought for a second that this game meant anything.