In a tightly contested game, the Nets struck final blood thanks to a big late shot by Mirza Teletovic, beating the Sacramento Kings 97-95 in Shanghai Mercedes-Benz Arena in the first of two preseason NBA Global Games in China.
With the lead waffling back and forth, Mirza Teletovic hit a three-pointer with 56.2 seconds left, putting them up for good. Four Nets scored in double figures, led by Brook Lopez, who finished with 18 points on 6-13 shooting in 25 minutes.
Assistant Paul Westphal coached in place of Lionel Hollins, who sat out with an undisclosed illness.
Preseason is never an indicator of future success in any statistical sense. Teams are too busy tinkering with different lineups and looks. Players spend the time re-acclimating to NBA speed, particularly players coming back from injury. But while little of what you’ll see in the box score is reflective of what you’ll see in the regular season, it can sometimes be an indicator of different playing styles and comfort levels.
Some notes on the night:
- Lopez dominated the inside early, attacking with equal amounts purpose and recklessness, putting up eight field goal attempts in the first 9 minutes and dropping 11 quick points in the quarter. The Nets went early and often to the Lopez well, and he didn’t meet a look he didn’t like, firing at the basket nearly every time he caught the ball. He only passed on passing.
- Nobody knows who the Nets are going to go with to round out their roster, but this game offered a couple of clues. Jerome Jordan, a 28-year-old journeyman center who only played a brief stint in the NBA with the New York Knicks in 2011-12, was the first and only player on a non-guaranteed contract to enter the game, playing ten spirited minutes in the second quarter punctuated by an emphatic block on a Rudy Gay layup attempt.
- The Nets ran a fair amount of flex offense, predicated on movement and off-ball screens, with degrees of success varying from “crisp perfection” — finding open looks all over the floor — to “extra crispy,” ending with passes that lead nowhere and bailout shots after 24 seconds.
- Bojan Bogdanovic played the most minutes of anyone on the team, with a couple of nice shots, but he doesn’t look like the offensive force the Nets want just yet. Hard to expect it in just two preseason games.
- Fresh off his summer with Team USA, Mason Plumlee clearly wanted to showcase a more diverse game than last season, posting up a few occasions and even dribbling the ball in the paint. Plumlee showed off a nice right hook on one occasion in the first half. He also picked up five fouls in under 14 minutes.
- Kevin Garnett only played under 11 minutes, but hit three of four shots, including the game’s opening jumper.