Good morning! Here’s a roundup of what happened last night in Netsland:
What happened: The Brooklyn Nets snapped their five-game losing streak, coming back from a 10-point deficit and holding on for a road victory over the undermanned Oklahoma City Thunder, 94-92.
Where they stand: The win keeps the Nets a half-game ahead of the 4-7 Boston Celtics, in this very early part of the season. They’re still well behind the red-hot Toronto Raptors, who have opened the season 10-2 and dominated the Milwaukee Bucks, who the Nets took to triple-overtime Wednesday night, winning 124-83
That was… Way, way harder than it needed to be. The Nets, who take to drama these days like Williamsburg hipsters to a bar with a Movember PBR deal, let a game against a Thunder team without reigning MVP Kevin Durant and bottle rocket Russell Westbrook that they’d beaten by 31 points on November 3rd come down to the final few seconds. After Joe Johnson missed one of two free throws in a rare crunch-time misfire, the Nets lucked out the win after Reggie Jackson missed a potential game-winning three-pointer as time expired.
The starters looked sluggish, almost like a team that had just played 63 emotional minutes against their ex-coach, only to lose by four excruciating points, and then traveled across time zones the next day. Dunno why.
But if a butterfly in Brooklyn (or a pigeon — let’s be real here) flapping its wings can cause an earthquake in Oklahoma City, the Nets hitting shots in the first quarter makes a difference in the fourth, too; luckily their bench, who played a lesser percentage of the aforementioned 63 minutes, picked up the slack, with Mirza Teletovic, Mason Plumlee, Jarrett Jack, and Alan Anderson combining to shoot 6-for-6 in the opening frame, and the unit finished with 46 points on the evening.
Probably a bit too much space there:
Here’s Reggie Jackson’s look from beyond the arc that could’ve won the game for the Thunder. Anderson sagged down on Jackson, perhaps worried he would attack the lane, but in turn ended up giving up a clean look from three-point range. Luckily, the shot bounced off, preserving the victory. But at that point, you’re giving up a coin flip.
Game Grades: Read ’em here.
Deron Williams Doin’ Things, Part I:
Hello, Jeremy Lamb. This is three seconds ago. I see Deron Williams left you here. Enjoy your stay.
Deron Williams Doin’ Things, Part II:
These highlights come back-to-back because they happened that way: the first put the Nets up 88-83, the second came on the very next possession. As said in the Game Grades, the Nets might not go as far as Deron Williams takes them, but they’ll sure as hell have a chance to go as far as he allows.
Goodbye, sweet Russian Prince: Earlier today, the Nets announced that Andrei Kirilenko would not make the two-game road trip with the team, and coach Lionel Hollins later said he wasn’t sure when the 6’9″ forward would return to the team, if at all. It appears that Kirilenko, who has fallen out of the rotation and spent the two games prior to the trip on the inactive list, won’t play with the Nets again, and the Nets were reportedly looking to trade him to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kirilenko is 34 years old, and has said he’s considered retirement after this contract is up. Given his struggles this season, it’s possible he never plays in an NBA game, and probable he’s played his last with the Nets.
Want to know what Brook Lopez cursing sounds like? Now you know.
Look Out, B-Lo:
I don’t like to criticize guys for getting dunked on — it’s always better to contest and try to stop the shot than sheepishly get out of the way just to avoid the poster. But give Reggie Jackson credit for the detonation.
For the record, Lopez finished with his first double-double since April 9, 2013, putting up 16 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, adding three blocks. The Nets out-rebounded the Thunder, 38-36.
Kevin Garnett Face Update:
Deron Williams Face Update:
“DID SOMEONE PUNCH DERON WILLIAMS!?” No, he just was the recipient of an inadvertent eye poke in the Bucks game Wednesday night. Still rough.
Final thoughts: More on Brook Lopez & Lionel Hollins’s, um, “discussions” here… Alan Anderson didn’t struggle so badly tonight, but I’d still like to see Markel Brown get a shot… Mirza Teletovic probably thinks “aw, shoot” is a command… Giving Bogdanovic a pass for this one… Mason Plumlee’s so far in the doghouse he can’t see sunlight… Nets finished 27-30 from the line, and every one mattered.
Next up: The Nets don’t rest: they’ll take on the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs Saturday night. The good news: it’s the Spurs traveling home for the second half of a back-to-back, a time when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich historically rests his players.