The Brooklyn Nets continued their poor play Friday night as they fell to the Washington Wizards on the road, 89-74. After a huge run by the Wizards in the second quarter, Brooklyn was never really able to work their way back into this game. Deron Williams led the way for Brooklyn with 20 points. Nene had 20 points and 11 rebounds while John Wall had 15 and 9 assists for Washington.
This was a close game in the first quarter. Joe Johnson was more aggressive than he has been recently, but Brooklyn still trailed by 1 after the first. The second quarter might have been the Nets’ worst of this season. They got outscored 30-11 in the second and didn’t have a field goal until around the 3-minute mark in the quarter. They shot terribly from the field and didn’t get back on defense to prevent fast breaks. Unbelievably, they trailed by 20 points against the team with the second worst record in the NBA. At the start of the third, the Nets didn’t look any better and trailed by as many as 23 points. However, they finally woke up at the end of the third, and although they didn’t shoot much better, Brooklyn did play better defense and cut the Washington lead to just 9. The Nets never trimmed the Washington lead to under double-digits and there is no doubt that this was a blowout loss.
Obviously, when a team scores 74 points, it is difficult to win. And the Nets really did nothing well offensively tonight, even when they made their small run in the third quarter. For the game, Brooklyn shot under 33% from the field, under 28% from 3, and under 60% from the foul line. Although they had 21 more free throw attempts than the Wizards, they did not take advantage of getting to the foul line. Had Brooklyn made all of its foul shots, they would have only lost by 2. Additionally, Brooklyn committed 15 turnovers and was very sloppy handling the ball. This might have been the worst we have seen the Nets play offense this season.
This was only one bad game, but still, Brooklyn has cooled off significantly since their great start under P.J. Carlesimo. However, the hardest part of their schedule begins on Sunday and they still have to face 3 of the best teams in the NBA before the all-star break: San Antonio, Indiana, and Denver. At this point, I would be surprised to see the Nets win any of those games.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: B
Reggie came one point shy of his second straight double-double and finished with 9 points and 13 rebounds. Believe it or not, I think Reggie has been too involved in the offense recently. When he gets offensive rebounds, he should be passing the ball out instead of going back up. When he goes back up, he usually gets fouled, which will usually result in 1 point at best.
Gerald Wallace: C-
Wallace was pretty invisible tonight. In 28 minutes, he only had 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Defensively, he could not stop either John Wall or prevent Washington shooters from shooting 3’s. He pretty much did nothing.
Brook Lopez: C-
This was Lopez’s worst game in a long, long time. Nene looked like the all-star tonight, not Lopez. Although Lopez had 8 rebounds and 4 blocks, he only scored 13 points on 3-11 shooting. He was pretty awful on defense as well and could not contain Nene or Emeka Okafor. Lopez simply had an off night. He will bounce back.
Deron Williams: B-
I suppose Deron Williams was the Nets’ best player tonight, but that is not saying much. He was frustrated for most of the night because he continued to be beaten by John Wall on defense. On offense, Deron was OK, scoring 20 points on 7-20 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. We need the old Deron to come back.
Joe Johnson: C
I have no idea how Joe Johnson scored 14 points tonight because he was completely invisible after the first quarter, where he actually was pretty aggressive. He was in the game for most of the Washington run in the second quarter and was not touching the ball enough on offense during that run. One would think that if Johnson was more involved, the Nets would have scored a field goal in the first 8+ minutes of the quarter.
This was the worst the bench has played all season, no question. Andray Blatche, who was returning to Washington for the second time, was especially bad. He was 2-9 from the field and 1-6 from the foul line. In fact, the only foul shot he made was in the last minute of the game in garbage time and it prevented the fans in Washington from getting free Chick-Fil-A burgers. I suppose Blatche is happy that he made Wizards fans sad. The rest of the bench was bad too. Bogans was a non-factor. Marshon Brooks looked very bad in 11 minutes of playing time. Mirza Teletovic had his fourth straight airball.
After this short road trip, Brooklyn will now return home to face the best team in the NBA right now, the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. The Nets have already been blown out by San Antonio once this year and will hope to avoid that happening again. FRWD will have full coverage of that game.