Alright, the game at 8:00 tonight, and since the Yankees aren’t playing tonight, the game is on YES.
- I was pleasantly surprised to see that we are winning the season series against the Pistons 2-1. Both of our wins came at the Izod center though, and the series finale is in Detroit.
- In both of our wins, we put up over 100 points, that seems like the goal we need to reach again tonight.
- Both teams are struggling a bit, as we are both 4-6 in our last 10.
- The Pistons are 20-19 at home and the Nets are 15-24 on the road.
Nets Starting Lineup
- PG – Devin Harris
- SG – Keyon Dooling
- SF – Vince Carter
- PF – Ryan Anderson
- C – Brook Lopez
Celtics Starting Lineup
- PG – Rodney Stuckey
- SG – Richard Hamilton
- SF – Tayshaun Prince
- PF – Rasheed Wallace
- C – Antonio McDyess
- Rasheed Wallace vs. Ryan Anderson – When Rasheed is on, he is a matchup problem for any team in this league. Especially a rookie. I see Rasheed going inside and working his post game on a smaller (physically) Anderson. It might get to the point where we are going to need to send a double at him.
- Devin Harris vs. Rodney Stuckey- I think that Rodney doesn’t have the speed to stay in front of Devin, and he will be able to get to the rim at will. I also think that Devin is smarting from the whipping that Rajon Rondo gave him in their last game. Look for a double double out of Devin.
- Vince Carter vs. Tayshaun Prince – Tayshaun is a freak of nature, he has a long wingspan, and he can probably tie his shoes without bending over. That being said, if Vince settles for jumpers tonight (like he did in that final possession against Boston), Tayshaun is going to be there to easily contest those shots with his long freak-boy arms. Vince needs to take it to the rack, draw fouls, get to the line, and get open looks for his teammates. We all know it’s possible for VC to drive the ball to the hole, but it just seems like he is hesitant to do it at times.
Final Random Thoughts
- The Nets offense has been clicking as of late, the lowest point total that we have in April is 94. And in our last two games, we have had 7 guys and 6 guys in double figures. It has been nice to see.
- On the other hand, we are only 2-2 in April because our defense hasn’t been getting the job done.
- 100 points is the goal. We score over 100 we win. The Pistons just can’t score that much, so this is going to be a game where we are going to have to outscore them.
- I would like to see Yi and CDR get some more time tonight (CDR probably will and Yi will rack up another DNP). We need to see if these guys are going to be able to contribute or not next season so we can know what we have to do in the draft. I mean, the final results of the games don’t really matter at this point now that we are eliminated from the playoffs.
- Our offense has been clicking as of late, and I think after a hot start we cruise to an easy win.
Probably like all Nets fans, I had my heart in my throat during the final seconds of the game yesterday against the Celtics. After taking some time to breath, I decided to look at the possession and break it down.
We start the possession off with 15 seconds left, and we are in an ISO set with Vince Carter with the ball. On the left side facing the basket, we got an overload with Dooling behind the arc on the wing. Bobby Simmons is in the deep corner, and Brook is in the post (For a potential tap in). Devin Harris is the lone player on the right side and he is in the deep corner. Now the decision to give Vince the ball in an iso set is an easy one, especially tonight. He put up 31 points, and hit a big three a few moments before hand. I also like seeing three shooters setting up for a drive and kick. It is also smart to put Brook on the post, because if you go for the win (Which you have to assume the Nets are thinking about – you don’t want to go to OT with the Celtics), Brook is there for a tap in.
While making his move, Vince gets a step on Paul Pierce, and everything is looking great for Nets fans. Rondo is attached to Devon Harris, and this leaves a huge lane for VC to drive into. The floor spacing is great too. The only player that seems to be in position to stop Vince if he drives is Ray Allen. That would leave Bobby Simmons wide open for a game winning three…VINCE CARTER NEEDS TO KEEP HIS DRIBBLE AND DRIVE THE BALL INTO THE LANE…only good things can happen from this…instead…
Vince settles with a jumper. Now a jumper is fine in this case. You got Peirce on your hip, pull up and shoot it. Paul won’t be able to contest the shot too much. But Vince made a step back move, and as you can see by the still, Paul Pierce now gets a hand in VC’s face, and this is a tough shot. Watching this live, it kinda looked like Vince was stepping back in an attempt to get behind the three point line. If that’s the case, I understand trying to win the game with a 3, but he needs to know where he is on the court. This is just a long 2.
Vince misses the jumper, and Brook does a fantastic job of fighting off two Celtics to get a hand on the ball and tap it out. Vince gains possesion of the basketball, and the Celtics defense is all out of whack. As I beautiully show, Ray Allen pretty much has to cover three solid three point shooters as Rondo and Pierce hawk Vince Carter. We still have 7 seconds left, so if Carter swings the ball as soon as he gets possession of it, we are going to get a wide open three point shot from either Devin Harris, Bobby Simmons, or Keyon Dooling…instead…
Vince dribbles into the corner and jumps up in the air with the ball. The gives the Celtics enough time to regroup and match-up with the Nets’ previously open shooters.
To his credit, Vince gets off a pretty spectacular pass considering the circumstances, and he finds Devin Harris. Harris catches the ball ready to shoot. It is a little deeper than you would like shoot from, but it is a somewhat open shot (Rajon is closing out, but he won’t get back in time to challenge the shot too much), and it needs to be shot…instead…
Devin Harris pump fakes, takes a side dribble, and puts up a contested shot. Now I know what Devin was trying to do with that move, he sees Rajon closing out, and pump fakes with the hopes of seeing Rajon running by out of control so he can get a wide open shot. You have to credit Rajon here, he closed out under control, and he was able to contest the shot. It’s a good thought process, but you need to take the original shot there Devin. What he did was take a open shot (by NBA standards) and turned it into a contested one. I don’t have to tell you guys what happens next…Devin missed the three, and the ball rolled away harmlessly. Here is the video of the possession:
Now there are a couple things we could have done differently from the start. First we could have went with a pick and roll with Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, it seemed like that was working for most of the night. As I said earlier though, I am not going to completly second guess that move, and Iso for the man who already dropped 31 is a good move too. I guess you can’t take the ball out of Vince’s hand there. What you can do if you are Lawrence Frank though is emphasize that we want a lay-up or a 3. Not some long contested 2. I love Vince, he’s my favorite Net, but he seems to settle for way too many jumpers, and this is just another example. You have a player who is slower than you (Paul Pierce) on your hip, you take it to the rim. The court was spaced in such a beautiful manner that nobody would have been able to challenge his lay-up.
Hey, at least it wasn’t a blow out right? I am glad to see the Nets still out there playing hard, I am 100% against tanking. Here are my thoughts of the game in a nice and neat bulleted format.
- So Rajon Rondo played…I think that whole sprained ankle on Friday was just a ruse. Rondo killed us on a night the other big 2 only combined for 22 points. 31 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Where was Devon?
- Yi. Another DNP, really? I can understand if he isn’t healthy enough to play, but we need to see what he is about before the draft. There are a lot of strong 4s in the draft, but I would like that know how Yi is, and where we are at, before we take a 4. It is just not smart to sit him again and again…and again. Especially since the games are kinda worthless. I’d like to see Yi get Boone’s minutes…he’s pretty much worthless in my opinion.
- I was against him on the team in the beginning, but Keyon Dooling has been growing on me all year. I just love how he plays on the offensive end…also holding Ray Allen to 12 points is pretty solid too.
- Vince Carter wants all this Demar DeRozan talk to stop now! A lot of Nets fan have expressed their love for DeRozan, and many mocks have the Nets grabbing him. VC would like to inform everyone that he can still play. 33 points, 12 boards, and 5 assists. That’s a line right there!
- Our offense was great all night, especially in the first quarter where we scored 31 points. Devon and Brook were running the pick and roll beautifully, the ball was getting swung, and guys were hitting shots. 6 guys in double figures and 104 points against the C’s thats pretty solid.
- Boy I miss Eddie House. Eddie did what Eddie does, 15 points, no rebounds. He just hits shots.
All in all, it was a solid performance (heck we had two decent looks the first to tie, and the second to win), I would have liked to seen better defense (especially on Rondo) but those are the breaks, and that is why we aren’t a team that will be in the playoffs. Stay tuned, later today, I am going to break down that final possesion.