Yeah, I know the title sucks, but I am sick so you are just going to have to live with it. The Nets came out yesterday and laid an egg in the first quarter. On offense they were pretty effective (scoring 24 points), but they couldn’t stop anything the Clippers threw out them. The Clippers scored 39 points in the first quarter yesterday, and for the second straight game, the Nets allowed for one stretch of pretty good basketball take away from the pretty good basketball that they played the rest of the way. The Nets just look lost on the defensive end (yes I know…Lawrence Frank had them playing great defense). A number of times the Nets got their rotations wrong leading to wide open baskets underneath. For all the poor defense (and there was a lot of it), the Nets did one thing right on the offensive end. They cross matched Courtney Lee and Devin Harris. What I mean by that is they had Courtney Lee covering the point guard Baron Davis, and they had the Devin covering the shooting guard Eric Gordon. Not only was it pretty effective in containing Davis (only 9 points and 9 rebounds), but the Clippers got confused a number of times on the defensive end, and it lead to a couple easy buckets for Courtney (including one big dunk). Aside from that though, the defense was horrendous.
On the offensive end, it was hard not to notice the lack of aggression that Chris Douglas-Roberts had throughout the game. A lot of people want to blame Yi or the offense for the drop-off in CDR’s shot attempts, but the real reason to me seems that he isn’t attacking the basket with the same aggressiveness he had in the beginning of the year. There were four or five times during the game yesterday where CDR had lanes to attack the basket (we will be looking at this in a breakdown once I get my hands on the game file). Granted they weren’t gaping holes, but they were lanes that CDR had previously attacked, but he pulled back and passed the ball off. CDR attacked the basket twice the whole game, one he got fouled (it naturally didn’t get called) and the other he finished strong. So it isn’t like when he drives he doesn’t get to the basket, he does, and that is what makes it even more frustrating. I don’t know why this has happened. A lot of people will point to this “Pass to the bigs at all cost” Kiki supposedly has, but I don’t see it. Kiki wants to run the offense through their big men, and as I said in the past, this is very smart to do. But that means you have to give it to Brook every single time. I am sure if CDR or Courtney Lee for that matter has a lane to drive, Kiki would have no problem with either of them doing so, then if nothing is there, throw it inside.
Speaking of throwing it inside, Brook Lopez had an awesome game, and he is showing why it is smart to run an offense through him. Brook Lopez put up 23 on 10-13 shooting and it wasn’t him shooting from the outside or anything like that. He had success with his back to the basket against one of the better centers in the league. No bullets today, I think everything I typed summed up the game pretty nicely.