Unfortunate Start: Cavaliers 98, Nets 94 (GAME GRADES)

Jason Terry

Missed his first couple of shots before burying back-to-back three-pointers in the second quarter, then hit back-to-back threes again in the fourth to erase a six-point lead. Last year, over 50% of his field goal attempts were three-pointers; tonight that was 88.9%, with a layup his sole two-point attempt. Couldn’t really ask for anything else from him.


On the first possession of the game, Pierce swirled off a screen-and-roll with Deron Williams, got free on the left side, and buried a jumper. On the second possession of the game, he did almost exactly the same thing. Played a decent all-around game, and hit some big threes late, but also took a poor off-balance shot with the Nets down two and under 24 seconds left.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

Played good defense on Kyrie Irving, but didn’t get involved in the offense at all. A surprise after Livingston’s steller preseason on offense.

Kevin Garnett POINT GUARD


It is jarring how much longer he is than Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, and Mirza Teletovic, the three players that played in the team’s power forward rotation last season, and how much more space he can cover on the defensive end.

Hit his patented midrange jumper and was far more active on the glass than I anticipated.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Eerily reminiscent of pre-All-Star break Deron Williams; lots of on-the-floor moves but not a lot going towards, or in, the basket. Didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Not exactly clear if it was a minutes restriction or he tweaked the ankle again. Concerning either way.


Seemed to vacillate between wanting to find open teammates and wanting to isolate defenders in the post without really having a plan for how to execute either.

Brook Lopez CENTER

Made some crucial mistakes late, notably not fouling after a missed shot with under 24 seconds left and the Nets down two.

Offensively, I remember you well. Most of Lopez’s shots came close to the rim, either assisted on when he found slivers of space in the paint, or off putbacks. He also hit one nice bank shot in the first quarter, when Anderson Varejao forgot that Lopez occasionally makes that shot.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

Looked every bit the Andray Blatche I expected to see last season before he turned in his improbable career season. Even putting his 0-for-5 shooting night aside, Blatche didn’t play well within the offense, floating out of the paint without spacing the floor, and played uninspired, flat defense, acting as a turnstile on the pick-and-roll. I’m hopeful that Blatche is more the player the Nets got last year, but tonight was not reflective of the resurgent.


It’s hard not to appreciate the ferocity, the aggression, the relentlessness, and his budding relationship with Garnett, but it actually got to the point where I didn’t want him to get offensive rebounds because he wouldn’t reset the offense.

Nice three-point play, though.