In the second NBA game ever in Brooklyn and the first Nets game on national television in who knows how long, the Nets got blown out by the Boston Celtics 115-85. After losing to the Nets in Boston on Tuesday, the Celtics came out fired up to get a win in Brooklyn tonight and their starters, led by Paul Pierce and Courtney Lee, all played very well.
The Celtics started the game on a 9-0 run and the Nets never got much closer than that. In the first quarter, the Nets shot 3-16 from the field and had 6 turnovers, many of which led to fast break lay-ups for Boston. The Nets defense was very poor throughout the game and it reminded me of the New Jersey Nets defense last year. 3-point defense was a major issue. The Celtics shot 11-19 from long range, led by Paul Pierce, who was 4-4, and Jason Terry, who was 5-5. Avery Johnson clearly still has a lot of work to do.
On offense, the Nets were not much better. They had way too many turnovers, and missed many of their open shots and layups. “Brooklyn’s Backcourt” was especially bad, combining to shoot 6-22 from the field. Gerald Wallace also shot poorly and Brook Lopez missed a bunch of easy lay-ups.
The lone bright spot in this game comes from the foul line, where the Nets shot 31 free throws to the Celtics’ 10. However, the Nets were badly outscored in points in the paint so this may be a misleading stat.
To see a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Joe Johnson: D
JJ did not have a good game tonight. He took too many shots and did not make many of them. He did not make any especially good passes and only had 2 assists despite leading the team in minutes. He only had 4 rebounds. He was unable to guard Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, or Courtney Lee. The Celtics gave Johnson headaches when he was in Atlanta and it looks like that has continued into this season.
Deron Williams: C-
Deron was able to get to the free throw line 6 times and led the team with 6 assists, but other than that, he had a pretty terrible game. He turned the ball over 6 times including some very curious passes that virtually had no chance of working out well. After these turnovers he did not get back on defense to stop fast break lay-ups and he got the Nets out of this game early. He did not do a great job of guarding Rajon Rondo who beat him to the basket multiple times. Let’s hope that Deron wasn’t giving a full effort tonight because he will need to play better than this in the regular season.
Brook Lopez: C+
Lopez’s stats are not bad, but if you watched this game there is no way you can be impressed with how he played. He scored 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, but many of these rebounds were off of his own missed lay-ups. Lopez needs to be more aggressive on offense. He should be dunking the ball and not putting up what I like to call “French lay-ups”. This is a term derived from Johan Petro last season, who rarely dunked and instead tried laying the ball in even though he is a legitimate 7-footer. These lay-ups never ended well. Brook did not show a good touch at the rim tonight and was outplayed by Kevin Garnett.
Tyshawn Taylor: B+
Tyshawn has impressed me in these two games against Boston. He was the backup point guard tonight because C.J. Watson had the night off and he played pretty well. He also shows no fear and is very confident. He is never afraid to shoot. He was able to get in the paint tonight and had a nice layup and floater over a bigger guy. Although Taylor will not be an ideal backup point guard this season, I would trust him for a few games if C.J. Watson got hurt.
Andray Blatche: B+
Andray Blatche continues to be a rebounding beast and major scoring option for the Nets second unit. He crashed the offensive boards hard tonight which led to some easy dunks and lay-ups for him. However, his defense on Kevin Garnett was subpar and he turned the ball over a little too much.
Marshon Brooks: B-
This was Marshon’s first game back after a foot injury, and it could have gone worse. After coming into the game in the first quarter, Marshon quickly hit a well-contested long 2-pointer as the shot clock expired, which is a classic Marshon play. However, he definitely looked rusty tonight. He had too many unforced turnovers and was sloppy. Hopefully Marshon will work out these kinks in his last two preseason games.
With this loss, the Nets fall to 3-1 on the preseason. I am glad they had this experience going up against a full strength Boston team because they now know the level in which they have to play if they want to win the Atlantic division. Tomorrow night, the Nets will be back at Barclays to face the Philadelphia 76ers, who they beat in the first preseason game this year.