Last night was another close game, but it still turned up as another loss. Even though it was a L, there were a lot of things that could be taken away from last night’s game.
- Well, we didn’t reach our 100 point mark, and they is due mainly to a terrible first half. The Nets only put up 38 points in the first half, and we were trailing 54-38. The lack of scoring is understandable, in the first half, Lawrence Frank was giving minutes to players who weren’t used to playing too much (Yi and Josh Boone for example). In the second half, the Nets scored 55 points in the second half, and in my opinion, this is attributed to Frank riding the hot hands.
- The man leading all exit polls for Most Improved Player (yes they have those), Devin Harris, re-injured his shoulder, and sat out most of the second half. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, CDR got to see more minutes, and I was very impressed with his play.
- As I just mentioned, I was very impressed with CDR’s play last night. He doesn’t look the smoothest, but the kid knows how to play, and he just gets the job done. Last night, his line was 31 minutes, 16 points, and 4 assists.
- The other two rookies played pretty well too. Brook, before fouling out put up 16 and 7. Ryan Anderson dropped 20 points.
- Now the bad. Yi only got 7 minutes and while he had 4 points, it seems like the Nets have made their decision on him. It looks like the Nets will be looking for a 4 in the draft.
So I am here, watching the game, so I might as well put my thoughts out there. Think live-blog, except more random and less organized.
- We just saw Lawrence Frank get interviewed, he said some guys were going to have their minutes increase. I am hoping it’s Yi and not Boone, but knowing Frank, it’s probably not Yi.
- Got the Nets’ starting line-up correct. The Pistons’ lineup is correct too. I get nervous about those sometimes.
- Rip Hamilton’s beard looks so awesome.
- We are underway. The Nets win the tip, Harris misses the first shot of the game, and Rip drills a jumper, we can’t let him get hot.
- I hate to point out how correct I am (I’m serious) but the Pistons go right to ‘Sheed on the post. Ryan Anderson can’t cover him there. Yi?
- The Pistons are hot early 3-3.
- Brook with a nice turn around jumper. He hits it and gets fouled…he makes the foul shot.
- Lopez, 20 footers aren’t your thing. Please move in!
- The Nets show zone. I like that call, hides the Anderson – ‘Sheed mismatch.
- Ummm…defense guys! The Pistons are 6-6 from the field right now…make that 7-7 McDyess drills a jumper. 15-8.
- Brook Lopez is working Antonio McDyess. He gets to the foul line, where he is shooting just over 80%.
- CDR getting some early action as he replaces Dooling. He starts up matched up on Rip. That’s a tough assignment, but I think CDR is quick enough to get around all of the screens and long enough to contest shot attempts.
- Nice little high-low between the rookies Lopez and Anderson. Anderson to the line.
- Kwame Brown sighting. He draws the foul as we get to the first media. 15-11 Pistons are up.
- So the Pistons miss their first shot with about 5 minutes left, and we get CDR to drill a jumper.
- Anderson isn’t able to keep up with Wallace right now, he has 8 points with 2 threes.
- Devon Harris gets to the lane and draws the foul, we need more of that tonight. Stuckey can’t match his speed.
- Lopez gets pinned in the post deep, and Kwame Brown draws Lopez’s second foul.
- Yi! Finally get to see him on the court, he’s playing center, but at least he is out there.
- The game tomorrow is on YES2…blah…no HD for me tomorrow.
- Yi being productive! His crash of the board draws a foul on Rip. Yi is on the line for two.
- Boone enters the game, Yi moves back to the 4, which is good because I want to see how he does there. We got Josh Boone, Keyon Dooling, CDR, Yi, and Hayes. I though Frank said he was going to play his regulars.
- Yi being productive! He drills a three!
- Dooling drills a shot at the buzzer, and we end the first quarter down 7. The score is 20-27. We are off our pace to hit the win #, which is 100 points.
- It seems like the Nets are in a lull for the first quarter today. Maybe it is because they were just eliminated from the playoffs, or maybe it is because Frank is playing guys not used to getting minutes, but I don’t know, something just looks off. Here’s to hoping the offense can get back on track in the second quarter.
- CDR is doing a fantastic job on Rip. I don’t think he has even hit a basket since CDR started covering him.
- Kwame Brown is looking like a #1 pick against us…oh yeah, he was one…
- The Nets are getting pounded of the defensive glass right now. The Pistons lead 32-22.
- It’s amazing that Will Bynum went undrafted. He was playing in Israel earlier in the year, that’s just crazy…
- Boone misses a lay-up, can we please take him out of the game?
- Alright fellas, my internet is acting up. I am still watching the game and will give my thoughts when it is over, but the Live Bullets are over. It is probably for the best, I am none too happy right now…
What’s up everyone, if you are visiting TheNetsAreScorching today, and you notice the header looking a little funny, or the themes are all weird, I am changing the look of the blog. The old theme was starting to annoy me. Bear with me today folks, we should have everything settled by tonight/early tomorrow.
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.
What’s up everybody, WordPress now allows threaded comments, which is awesome for keeping conversations going and comments organized. Here is an example.
One of the reasons I do this blog is because I try to get Nets conversations going. I think this will help with that.
Saturday Night’s game at home against the Magic is now officially “Brookie Night.” Brookie, that is so awesome, I wish I would have come up with that. The Nets, who are continuing their Brook Lopez for ROY campaign, will be giving out the above T-Shirts to the first 500 fans in attendence Saturday Night*. I was thinking about going to see this game anyway (Brook vs. Dwight should be a great matchup – Skip vs. Devin Harris too), but now I think I have to go and get one of these shirts, the comic book cover style looks awesome! It is going to be a great collector’s item when he wins the Rookie of the Year.
The first 500 Toyotas to pull up also get’s free parking…
OK, I know my last game preview was for Game 1, but hey we won that game, and I think I might be good luck. Here goes nothing!
- The Celtics are 3-0 on the season against the Nets, winning on average by 18.7 points.
- This game is at Boston, and the last time that we played over there, we ended up losing by 32. However, the last time we played the Celtics we only ended up losing by 4.
- The Celtics are 7-3 over their last 10, while the Nets are 4-6 over the same span.
- The Celtics are 32-6 at home while the Nets are 15-23 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 – Rajon Rondo/Stephon Maurbury – Rajon sprained his ankle in practice on Monday and is questionable for the game, my guess is he will start. But the C’s may hold him back to prevent any further injury right before the playoffs.
- SG – Ray Allen
- SF – Paul Peirce
- PF – Glen “Big Baby” Davis
- C – Kendrick Perkins
- Ray Allen vs. Keyon Dooling – Ray is an all-star with a smooth and silky stroke. It also seems like he has turned it on in the absence of Kevin Garnett. He is going to be too much for the smaller Dooling.
- Paul Pierce vs. Vince Carter – This is going to be a great matchup, and I am only putting it up here because Pierce has a slight edge. And that edge is physicallity. If Paul decides to, he can put his head down and take it to the hole all day against Vince. Vince just needs to work on defense, also he needs to be agressive on offense. Make Pierce work on both ends.
- Devin Harris vs. Stephon Maurbury- This all depends on whether or not Rajon Rondo is starting (He is questionable as of right now). If Harris gets Maurbury, he has the quicks to get by him all game.
- Kendrick Perkins vs. Brook Lopez – Since the Celtics are without Kevin Garnett and could possibly be without Rajon Rondo, I see this game staying close to the end. Usually, in Celtic wins in close games, Perkins usually has one monster jam or tip slam to swing the momentum and the crowd in their favor. Brook needs to keep this from happening. He needs to keep a body on Perkins, keep him out of the paint, and outwork him. I believe he can do this, but will he? That’s the big question.
- It’s going to be a close one, but the Nets on the road won’t be able to handle a late Celtics push. The C’s win this one, and the Nets look to get a few more ping pong balls.
I know it seems like this is a Brook Lopez blog more than a Nets blog as of late, but David Thorpe, a writer for ESPN, gave out his awards for the rookie class this year, and Brook Lopez was all over them. Brook was mentioned for:
- Defensive Rookie Of The Year
- Biggest Surprise of the Class
- All Defensive Team
- All Rookie First Team
I know this is just one guy’s opinion, but it is awesome to see Brook getting the respect he deserves!