The NBA season is finally arriving, and the Brooklyn Nets got off to a good start Tuesday night, getting a preseason road win against the Washington Wizards, 111-106 in overtime. The Nets played their starters minus Deron Williams for 12 minutes total, the first 6 minutes of the first quarter and the first 6 minutes of the second quarter. The bench played the remainder of the game, with the team’s third unit and fourth unit playing in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The starters played well for the Nets, especially on offense. Brook Lopez was especially impressive, scoring 15 points on 6/7 shooting in only 12 minutes. This game also gave us our first look at Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn uniforms. KG played well on defense and finished with 7 rebounds. Pierce had 4 fouls in only 12 minutes of play. He is still getting adjusted to his second NBA team in over 15 years of being a professional.
With the bench in the game, the Nets held a small lead for most of the game until the fourth quarter, where the Wizards’ starters were able to tie the game against the Nets’ third and fourth teams. In overtime, the Wizards still had a couple of starters in the game, but the Nets, led by Tyshawn Taylor and Mason Plumlee were able to get to the foul line and win the game.
Here are some notes about some of the key bench players tonight:
Andrei Kirilenko: Kirilenko was the most impressive bench player tonight. He was a difference maker on both offense and defense, tipping balls away and getting steals, and also showing a nice touch around the rim. He is definitely an x-factor for this team.
Andray Blatche: Blatche was back in Washington, and that might have caused him to do a couple of dumb things on the court tonight. As we have gotten used to, Blatche makes some head-scratching plays (like taking two 3′s in the second quarter), but was still able to fill up the stat sheet with 14 points in 21 minutes.
Alan Anderson: Anderson is an interesting player for the Nets. If the team is healthy, he may not get any playing time, but if injuries happen, he could become an important player on this team. Alan is a pretty good scorer and scored 13 points tonight. He is capable of big games if needed.
Tyshawn Taylor: Tyshawn led the Nets in minutes tonight with 34, but didn’t play especially well. Although he had 16 points and 6 assists, he also had 7 turnovers and 4 missed free throws. He was a big reason Washington got back into the game in the fourth quarter. If he wants to get any playing time on this team, he needs to make fewer mistakes.
Mirza Teletovic: Mirza was the last player who will make the final roster to get into the game today. But in only 20 minutes, he had 15 points and 6 rebounds, better than any game he played in last season. He made three 3′s and also had a huge dunk in the fourth quarter. However, if Mirza wants to get into Brooklyn’s rotation, he really needs to improve his defense. If he can do that, he will have a place on this team.
The Nets will have quite a few days off now, but on Saturday they will play their preseason home opener against the Detroit Pistons.