The second game in Brooklyn Nets history will probably be one of the most disappointing of the season. The Nets, led by great 3-point shooting, jumped out to a 22-point lead in the 3rd quarter, but let the severely short-handed Timberwolves, who were playing without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, come back and win the game in the last 3 minutes. Minnesota was led by Nikola Pekovic, who again torched the Nets tonight.
Minnesota came all the way back to tie the game with about 7 minutes remaining the 4th. The Nets kept the game close and it was 96-96 with 2:40 to go. After that, it was all Minnesota, as the Timberwolves closed the game on an 11-0 run to win 107-96. They outscored Brooklyn 32-10 in the fourth quarter.
The biggest issue for the Nets in this game was defensive rebounding. They gave Minnesota way too many second chances. This starts with Brook Lopez, but Kris Humphries, Joe Johnson, Marshon Brooks, and Mirza Teletovic were also responsible. If only Pekovic was getting the offensive rebounds, that’s one thing. But the Nets let multiple Wolves into the paint and did not box out at all. The Nets will need to practice to fix this problem.
For the Nets, the one thing to take away from this game is to never take their foot off the pedal in the NBA. Despite having a big lead, the Nets thought the game was over and their intensity died. This let Minnesota get back into the game and ultimately win it in the fourth quarter. This kind of game should be expected from a team that has not had much time to play together. However, it will be unacceptable if the Nets play like that again in the second half. Expect Coach Avery to be very hard on the players after this disappointing loss.
One would think that this game might remind me of New Jersey Nets games but it doesn’t. The Nets would never grab a 22 point lead, let alone blow it. Hopefully this doesn’t become a regular thing for the Brooklyn Nets.
For a box score of this game, click here.
For live notes from FRWD, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Deron Williams: B-
Although Deron’s stats show that he played a very good game, he was a large part of the collapse at the end. He stopped moving the ball around as well when he thought the game was over which led to worse looks for the Nets’ offense. Deron will not be happy with how this game ended.
Joe Johnson: C
JJ had a very quiet 17 points tonight and was invisible in the 4th quarter. He could not make a shot when the Nets needed him to most. Joe was a pretty clutch player in Atlanta and he needs to be more assertive on offense here in Brooklyn. He also wasn’t special on defense on Kirilenko, who definitely outplayed him.
Keith Bogans: A-
Keith Bogans started but played very limited minutes. He was not a part of the collapse and he deserves a pretty good grade. He knocked down his open 3’s, which is what the Nets are paying him to do.
Brook Lopez: C-
Brook Lopez did not play well tonight. He was unable to draw fouls in the 4th quarter or make baskets. He forced the ball at the rim too much and was outplayed by Pekovic. Expect this to be one of Lopez’s worst games.
Marshon Brooks: B-
On offense, Marshon was pretty good and seemed to fit in well. However, on defense he was as bad as usual. He wasn’t staying with his defender and was not rebounding.
Mirza Teletovic: B
He came into the game with 7 seconds left in the first half and immediately hit a 3. He also made a backdoor cut in the 3rd quarter which led to an easy dunk. Defensively, he wasn’t even that bad. But rebounding-wise, Mirza was pretty terrible. He let Dante Cunningham get easy offensive rebounds over him and this is something that Teletovic has to fix immediately.
C.J. Watson: B+
C.J. had another pretty good game off the bench for the Nets and was not a part of the destruction in the 4th quarter. He knocked down his open shots and played well on defense.
The Nets will have to recover quickly from this game because they will be heading down to South Beach on Wednesday to take on the defending champion Miami Heat. We will have full coverage of that game on FRWD.