Five thoughts on the game
- 1. Let’s start with a positive. Drumroll: for the first time this season, the Nets shot above 40% from the field! What? Above 45%? The Nets? Yes, it’s true. The Nets had a solid day shooting the basketball. They even continued the trend of the last few games of shooting well behind the arc (50% tonight). Shockingly, the only Net that didn’t shoot well tonight was Deron Williams–the guy who was lights out from the field just a few months ago in Turkey. I’m not sure what is going on with his jumper, but the other seven players shot just fine today.
- 2. 46% shooting is great and all, but it’s tough to win when your opponent shoots 53%. The Nets are absolutely clueless on defense. They don’t rotate, they leave guys (like
Vladimir Radmanovic and Jeff Teague) open and they were completely dominated on the defensive glass. Perimeter rotation is especially bad. Brooks is lucky that Radmanovic only went four-for-eleven behind the arc because he could have had made much more. It’s getting increasingly frustrating to watch the Nets get burned on defense by the simplest of ball movements on offense.
- 3. Lack of depth. The Nets looked pretty winded tonight, and I’m not sure why Avery didn’t give Gaines, JWill or Horner any minutes at all. It’s tough to beat an aggressive and defensively dominant Hawks team with only eight guys. JWill could have been used in the paint tonight, especially with the lack of talent in Petro and, to a degree, Shelden Williams.
- 4. Going off that, I missed Brook. Yup. Brook Lopez was certainly missed, right from the moment they re-aired his goofy interview from Saturday on YES. The Nets are missing a low-post threat. Ian Eagle made a great point–having that guy in the paint who can put up points is useful, even if all he does is make some baskets. The Nets needed his toughness and even his rebounding. Humphries has had a solid season, no doubt. But he simply isn’t “big” enough (in every sense of the word) to handle Horford and Smith by himself.
- 5. On to the next one. It’s obvious that despite losing the last two games, the Nets have gotten better–especially since the last time they played Atlanta. They are shooting better and playing well together. The problem is, they don’t have a ton of talent to work with. Deron is in a shooting slump, Brook is hurt, MarShon–despite his numbers so far this season–is only a rookie, and Humphries simply isn’t talented enough to make up for all the poor play. The Nets need someone to step up or get somebody who can.