The Brooklyn Nets came into this game with only 1 loss in the month of January and they had won 10 of their past 11 games and 3 in a row. They did not look like that team tonight. Brooklyn was blown out by the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-77 and the game was never close at all. The Nets were led by Brook Lopez’s 18 points and 3 blocks. Memphis had 7 players score in double figures, led by Marc Gasol’s 20 points and 9 rebounds.
This game was a blowout from the very start. Although the Nets grabbed a 2-0 lead in this game by a Brook Lopez dunk, they were outscored in the first quarter 32-22. Things only got worse in the second quarter where they were outscored 35-22 and trailed by 23 points at halftime. In the third quarter, Memphis jumped out to a 30-point lead, which should have been the signal for P.J. Carlesimo to pull his starters. Instead, he left his best players in and they cut the lead to 18 heading into the fourth quarter. The Nets never got closer than that and their bench only scored 10 points in the fourth.
The biggest issue for the Nets in this game was obviously the rebounding. Although they were only outrebounded 45-37 (not terrible), it was really much worse than that. The Grizzlies had more offensive rebounds in the first half than the Nets had defensive rebounds. That means that whenever Memphis missed, they had a better shot at a rebound than Brooklyn did. Surprisingly, nobody on Memphis had double digit rebounds. Another issue was defense. The Nets allowed the Grizzlies to shoot over 52% from the field. If this team has that many open looks, they will not lose.
This is not the end of the world. Memphis is a very good team and is one of the best home teams in the league. The Nets were already 2-0 on the road trip and we can’t expect them to win every game. Still, they looked pretty bad tonight. The question will be if they can have a quick turnaround and come to play tomorrow night in Houston.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: B-
Of all the weird things to happen in this game, this may be the weirdest. Reggie scored in double digits for the first time this season and finished with a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds. He was 5-7 from the field, but started off the game 5-5, including some shots that he rarely makes. Defensively, he did his best against Zach Randolph and contested many of Randolph’s shots, but he did not do a good enough job boxing out Memphis, especially on the Grizzlies’ offensive rebounds. Memphis had too many second chance points tonight, and part of that is Reggie’s fault.
Gerald Wallace: F
I’ve given Gerald Wallace some passes in recent games, but he does not get one tonight. He was awful. He only had 1 point, did not make a field goal, and did not make an impact on defense. His touch around the rim is terrible. Of all the contracts the Nets gave out in the offseason, Wallace’s may be the worst.
Brook Lopez: B
After not making the all-star team last night, Brook Lopez came out very aggressive in this game. He had a nice first quarter, but played poorly after that, especially in the third quarter. He finished with 18 points, but only 4 rebounds in 27 minutes. Defensively, he was abused by Marc Gasol.
Deron Williams: C
Deron didn’t have a terrible statistical game: 12 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds. But he never looked comfortable on the floor and he left the game in the third quarter after banging knees with a Grizzlies player. Hopefully he will be ready to go tomorrow night in Houston. Deron probably should have come out of this game earlier. It was over when the Nets were down by 30.
Joe Johnson: C-
This was very similar to the games earlier in the season when Joe Johnson appeared to be invisible. He played 32 minutes tonight but only had 11 points on 4/10 shooting. He did not make an impact at all in this game.
The Nets’ bench has played pretty well this year, but that was not the case tonight. Everybody was bad. The bench shot 30% from the field and only scored 10 points in the fourth quarter. Nobody scored in double figures. Marshon Brooks was especially bad, shooting 0-4 with 2 turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The Nets will have to forget about this game quickly because they will have another important game in Houston tomorrow night. With Deron Williams’s injury in this game, it is still unknown if he will play. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.