The Nets lost to the Boston Celtics at home Saturday night, 94-82 behind big performances from their starters. The game was a close one in the first half and was tied at halftime, but the Celtics’ defense clamped down on the Nets in the second half, where the Nets only scored 34 points. The Nets did have some fight in them today, and they made the first half exciting, but they were unable to make contested jump shots in the second half, and therefore didn’t have a chance at winning this game.
As we have become used to recently, the Nets were led by their bench. Gerald Green and Jordan Williams had 15 and 12 points respectively. For Boston, it was a balanced effort. Kevin Garnett had 21 and 12 rebounds. Paul Pierce had 17. Brandon Bass had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Worst of all, Avery Bradley had 18 points and may be a Nets Killer. He had some dagger 3’s in the third quarter to really separate Boston from the Nets. To read more about some of the individual plays in the game, check out my live game notes.
This loss does not hurt the Nets too much because it was at home, where they are terrible, and because it was against the Celtics, who are trying to hold off the Knicks in the Atlantic Division. I am not very upset because the Nets’ defense played well enough, and it was the offense that was a problem. Bad teams need to improve on defense before they can improve on offense, and hopefully the Nets were able to do this tonight. Many of the shots the Celtics were able to make were long jump shots that shouldn’t have went in. For example, Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Avery Bradley made way too many outside shots that should not have went in.
Player stats, grades, and notes:
Marshon Brooks: 13 points, 6-17 FG, 5 reb, 3 ast, 2 to, 36 min. Grade: C
Marshon didn’t play terribly tonight, but he was definitely outplayed by Avery Bradley, his counterpart. Coach Avery experimented with Marshon running the point guard again tonight, and again it didn’t go well. When he was running the point in the second quarter, he took the majority of the shots and the only other player to shoot was Petro. That is never good news. Also, 6-17 from the field is not good at all. He needs to have much better shot selection.
Deron Williams: 11 points, 3-12 FG, 0-4 3 pt FG, 6-7 FT, 14 ast, 0 reb, 0 stl, 4 to, 34 min. Grade: C
After a brilliant first quarter where Deron had 5 points and 8 assists, he had a very mediocre rest of the game. It is not a coincidence that the Nets were up by 6 at the end of the first and lost the game by 12 points. Deron shot very poorly today and didn’t even pass too well after the first quarter. Also, 0 rebounds? Come on. Deron picked up a technical in the first quarter after a no-call on an obviously foul by Greg Stiemsma. I don’t blame him for that, though. It was a very bad call. Avery Johnson also picked up a technical in the third quarter and almost got two techs. It always seems that Avery and Deron get technicals in the same game. I don’t really blame Avery either. The refs were pretty terrible for most of the game tonight.
Kris Humphries: 6 points, 3-9 FG, 10 reb, 0 ast, 1 blk, 0 to, 34 min. Grade: D+
The Hump was pretty invisible on offense tonight, likely because of the presence of Kevin Garnett and Greg Stiemsma, a surprisingly good shot blocker. Humphries still had 10 rebounds, which is slightly below average, but he gave Garnett tons of open mid-range shots and didn’t do anything on offense.
Jordan Williams: 12 points, 6-11 FG, 0-0 FT, 14 reb, 6 off reb, 3 stl, 1 blk, 1 to, 29 min. Grade: A
J-Will recorded his first ever double-double tonight! I guess he stole it from The Hump. He had a career high 14 rebounds and was also pretty effective on offense. He did not go to the line once, however, but he did get fouled a few times. The refs just didn’t call it. He was a beast on the offensive glass and he fought for every loose ball. It is nice to see a Net playing with that kind of passion. His defense on Bass and Garnett was questionable, but I will let it slide. Garnett is a hall-of-famer and Williams is a rookie.
Gerald Green: 15 points, 6-14 FG, 3-6 3 pt FG, 1 reb, 0 ast, 2 blk, 3 to, 29 min. Grade: B
Again, Green was much of the offense tonight for the Nets. He had a sick buzzer-beating 3 to tie the game at 48 at the end of the first half, but it went downhill from there. In the second half, the Nets offense was doing absolutely nothing, which forced Green into taking some bad shots. He did have one #GREENMACHINE dunk in the half, though. Also, aside from Green, the Nets shot 3-16 from 3. Green was 3-6. That just says how bad the Nets were tonight in outside shooting. Give the Celtics defense some credit. Speaking of 3’s…
Anthony Morrow: 5 points, 1-8 FG, 1-5 3 pt FG, 0 reb, 1 ast, 1 to, 17 min. Grade: D-
Another very bad performance from Morrow. 1-5 from 3? Really? And he got some open looks too. He could have kept the Nets in the game if he shot 3-5, which we should expect from Morrow. He also missed all of his 2-point attempts and didn’t play much defense. The only reason he doesn’t get an F is because he made 1 three.
After tonight, the Nets will have a day off tomorrow before hosting the Miami Heat on Monday night. That should again have a “road game feel” to it thanks to all of the fake Heat fans expected to be in attendance. We were there the last time the Nets hosted the Heat, which you can read about here. We will see you then.