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For three quarters, the Nets looked like a real NBA team. In fact, they looked like a good NBA team. They were clicking on the offensive end (they were getting it to Brook and cutting off of him so well) and they were playing very good defense. In the fourth quarter though, the Nets were outscored 24-14. In my opinion the defense held up (24 points for the Celtics isn’t a lot), it was the offense that let the Nets down.
So why do the Nets struggle so much in the fourth quarter? Well, what I have noticed the last three games is that the Nets completely go away from what works in the first three quarters. Last night, for the first three quarters the Nets were running the pick and roll very well, getting into the lane, and getting easy baskets. In the fourth, I don’t think they even ran a pick and roll once. Lets look at the shot charts by quarter for this game, I think it is pretty telling:
The Nets went from taking a bulk of their shots in the paint in the first three quarters, to only taking three shots in the paint. It seems when teams turn up the pressure late (as teams turn up the defense in the 4th), they get away from what works. Another effect of the Nets not getting to the lane? They don’t get to the foul line. The Nets shot 25 foul shots in the first three quarters. That is phenomenal. They only shot 2 in the fourth to finish with a FTR of 39.7. That is still a very good FTR, but it is interesting that in a quarter where they only took 2 foul shots they only score 14 points. Some more thoughts after the jump:
- Like I said earlier, the pick and roll worked really well last night. Perkins was having some trouble getting out to hedge, so there were a lot of open lanes for the man getting the screen.
- In the fourth quarter, Eddie House banked home a jumper. No big deal right? Well, that got him going and he finished with 10 points in the quarter, including two big threes.
- CDR had a good game. He came in during the second quarter and quickly put up 9 points (including 4 foul shots), he should have gotten some more minutes in my opinion. Especially in the fourth when the team stopped attacking.