It’s a wrap, folks. Brooklyn Nets basketball is now over for the 2017-18 season. Things weren’t exactly that great for Brooklyn though… especially on a night Aron Baynes set new career-highs in points and field goal attempts.
First things first, both teams’ starting lineups looked quite different on Wednesday night. Kenny Atkinson went with his 25th different starting five this season: D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Allen Crabbe, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jarrett Allen. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics, who already claimed the second seed in the Eastern Conference, did not start anyone of much significance. Brad Stevens went with Shane Larkin (hello again!), Jabari Bird, Abdel Nader, Guerschon Yabusele and Baynes.
Still, even with so many unknown names taking the floor first for Boston, things were not easy for Brooklyn. The Nets started the game looking alright, gaining a 10-4 lead with 8:46 to go in the first. They did not hold that for very long, as the Celtics unleashed a furious 15-0 run. Baynes was dominant in that stretch, racking up 14 points and seven rebounds in just nine minutes.
The Nets managed to ease the gap after Baynes took a breather. LeVert, Dante Cunningham and Nik Stauskas contributed to a slight 9-3 spurt to close the quarter. At the end of the first, Brooklyn trailed 27-22.
The second quarter began with Cunningham and LeVert tallying three consecutive layups, and the Nets regained a 28-27 lead. Boston quickly reclaimed control, however, as Jonathan Gibson and Semi Ojeleye knocking down four unanswered shots. Brooklyn would get the Celtics’ lead down to as little as four at multiple times in the remaining first half minutes, but Boston had an answer every time. The second quarter closed with two dunks from Baynes, and at halftime, the Celtics led 53-43.
In the third, Brooklyn still could not figure out a way to stop Baynes. On three occasions in this quarter, Baynes notched offensive rebounds, with two of them resulting in made baskets for him. The Nets’ lack of defense, combined with very little going on offense, allowed the Celtics’ lead to balloon to as many as 23 points.
You can probably imagine how the rest of the game went. Timofey Mozgov made a cameo, so yeah. If you’re looking for something good from the Nets though, there was a lot of SAUCE on this Stauskas dunk:
NIK STAUSKAS STOOD OVER HIM. END THE SZN pic.twitter.com/SRSemNJtN4
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) April 12, 2018
The stats: 10 PTS, 4-5 FG, 2-2 FT, 7 REB, 1 BLK, 19 MIN
Jarrett Allen was really the only Net who had anything close to a decent night. That might even be a bit of a stretch to say, though he did set a new record for highest field goal percentage by a Nets rookie!
The stats: 0 PTS, 0-5 FG, 0-1 3PT, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2 TOV, 18 MIN
Not a single made field goal for Rondae tonight. Yikes.
The stats: 10 PTS, 5-13 FG, 5-10 3PT, 1-1 FT, 7 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 26 MIN
After a killer performance on his birthday (and Fan Appreciation Night!) two days ago, Allen Crabbe was ice cold for much of tonight’s game. He heated up a bit in the third, but the Nets had already reached the point of no return by then. Still, he reached 200 threes this season after his fourth three in the game!
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 12, 2018