Thoughts On The Game: Six Minutes Is All It Takes

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During the final six minutes of the first half, the Nets were outscored 24 to 5.  That equals minus 19 for those six minutes.  For the other 42 minutes, the Nets were +3.  Six minutes is all it takes to make a close game a blowout, a game where the Nets had a chance to win to another 15+ point loss.  During this stretch, the Pacers were able to shoot 8 for 10 from the field (80%) and 6 for 7 from the line.  That is just way too easy, even for the Nets who seemingly let all of their opponents shoot over 50%.  The Nets offense as it currently stands isn’t going to outscore anyone, and there are going to be stretches (like this six minute one) where the Nets are going to just go cold and not score.  The Nets need to recognize when this is coming and dig their heels in the defensive end.  Also, the Nets need to attack the basket on the offensive end.  During this run the Nets settled for way too many jumpers and they lost the aggressiveness that kept them in the game up until that point.  The Nets got zero foul shots during that six minute stretch.  Getting to the foul line during opponent runs is so important not only because you get easy baskets with the clock stopped (the Nets are one of the better foul shooting teams in the league), but because it slows everything down as well.  When a team gets to the foul line, everything stops and the rhythm of the opponents run is broken.  Unfortunately the Nets didn’t do any of this as they went cold, they just watched as the Pacers scored 24 points in 6 minutes.

I mentioned this briefly in the quick recap, but I wanted to talk about it some more.  Despite everyone getting on Devin Harris calling him soft, injury prone, and talking about how he isn’t a leader just because he isn’t bashing him teammates to the media day-in/day-out.  Devin Harris is leading this team, and he is doing it by example.  Devin Harris estimates his health at about 80%, and he is still out there.  Why?  Well he told the media on Tuesday:

“I owe it to them [the Nets].  I mean, we have a better chance to win when I play even if it’s [the wrist] is only 80 or whatever.  We’ve been hurt all year long and this is the first opportunity that we have had everyone healthy and everybody in full uniform.”

Devin Harris goes out every game and takes a lot of hits (yesterday he had Brook Lopez and Roy Hibbert wrestling on one of his legs) and he just gets up and keeps playing.  That is a great example for our young players.

Kris Humphries got 27 minutes yesterday, and he rewarded Kiki’s trust by playing very very well.  He was a threat on the offensive end when he caught it, and he was setting a lot of good picks then making himself available on the rolls.  He was 5-7 from the field (including 5-6 from the line) and he finishes with 15 points.  Humphries also played well on the defensive end, he had a big block on Roy Hibbert, and he even “pulled the chair” on him at one point in the second half.  He just looks comfortable out there, and I can see Humphries finding a home (and some playing time) in New Jersey.  Some final bullets after the jump.

  • After a short stretch where the Nets were defending the 3 well, the Nets reverted back to their old ways and gave up a ton of wide open threes.  The Pacers were 13-23 from the field which is good for about 56%.
  • Chris Douglas-Roberts and Courtney Lee just didn’t look aggressive last night.  CDR especially.  CDR had a couple opportunities in transition to force the issue and get a lay-up, but instead, he just pulled it out.
  • Again, the Nets limited their turnovers (just 8) and that is something else that hurts.  They take such good care of the ball, but they don’t take advantage of it, they just end up taking bad shots.
  • The Nets were out-rebounded again.  This time by a tally of 42 to 39.