Not Brooklyn’s best showing; even without two of their key pieces (Thornton and Kirilenko, I’m not even counting Garnett since he hasn’t played in a month), the Nets played some listless defense outside of their double-teams on Jefferson, didn’t force turnovers, helped off corner shooters, and looked generally out of sync on both ends of the floor.
Other than an early offensive outburst, punctuated by 20 first-half points from Deron Williams, and a frantic late run to force overtime, there wasn’t much to write home about here: the Nets didn’t double quickly on Al Jefferson, allowed too many open three-pointers, and didn’t disrupt Charlotte’s average offense.
Give them credit for their fight at the end of regulation and in overtime — three straight games on the road going to overtime in four days isn’t easy for any team. But the Nets missed one too many shots down the stretch, and let Charlotte get lucky.
He really likes playing the Bobcats. Dropped 18 smooth points in the first quarter, hitting threes and floaters alike without taking bad shots. But he didn’t produce much after that, and it didn’t seem like he was trying to get others involved or facilitate the offense, he just didn’t get many looks until the fourth quarter.
Williams tied the game twice down the stretch with Joe Johnson-like looks, both out of the same play action. The first time, he dove into the lane for a game-tying layup, the second time he flared out for a
2 3 2 3 2 3 2-pointer, with his foot just barely on or around the line and replays inconclusive.
Williams was this team’s offensive star tonight, and Kemba Walker’s field goal percentages understate Williams’s defensive acumen. Walker hit a bunch of shots that had no business going near the hoop, while Williams mostly played within the team’s principles.
Speedy and willing to attack, distributed the ball well to the bigs, and his jumper from midrange remains pure and unblockable, but struggled with foul trouble all game and got caught above a couple of down-screens.
A quintessential Joe Johnson game: created some shots out of the post, got his looks spotting up around Deron Williams, hit one big three-pointer in overtime to close the gap from four to one in overtime, but missed a wide open crunch-time three.
Didn’t take his first shot until near the end of the second quarter, which might be a record for him. He’s grown into his new role as the 3rd or 4th option in most lineups, with the occasional stretch where he takes over and finds shots in creative ways. But he had a wide-open chance at the rim with 35 seconds left in overtime to cut the lead to one, and he could not convert.
Is it just me, or has Blatche played less wild lately? With Lopez, Garnett, and even Kirilenko out of the lineup, there’s more pressure on him to stay in the paint and function as a center, but even that doesn’t explain it. Outside of a couple of plain, Blatcheian plays (dribbling up-court without control and taking a step-back jumper in the first half), Blatche was mostly a boring center: maintaining space in the paint, grabbing the occasional rebound, and having issues defending Al Jefferson.
I’ve said before that Blatche would be so much better if he just stayed in the paint and used his quick feet to dominate opponents in the post and box out. But he’d also be 500% less entertaining. Don’t get too normalized, Blatche. Don’t forget where you came from.
Took rushed shots when he didn’t need to. He’s a smart defender, but sometimes a bit too eager on the offensive end.
Looks like he’s getting his shot back. I love how he instinctively jumps to get his feet set for a three-point shot upon catching a pass, then bounces right back up to shoot the three. I call it the Pogo Teletostick. That’s copyrighted and mine and if you use it I will sue you for ten million United States(US) dollars($).
Yeah, Al Jefferson torched him.
Ejected midway through the fourth quarter for a flagrant-2 call, coming down on Tyler Zeller on a blocked shot attempt and wrapping around his head/neck area. Despite the play not looking intentional, it drew the ire of Tyler Zeller, and that ended his night.
But before that, he played some real minutes tonight and looked like a real rotation player. He’s taking a page out of the Shaun Livingston book by fitting in around the stars around him, rather than trying to take over.
Gutierrez will either get waived or re-signed for the season tomorrow. The way he’s played, expect the latter.