The Brooklyn Nets had their worst loss of the very young season tonight, getting blown out in Orlando, 107-86. The Nets hung around in the first half but were destroyed in the third quarter and never made a run in the 4th. Brook Lopez had 21 points and 5 blocks for the Nets. Victor Oladipo was fantastic for Orlando, getting 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in only 21 minutes off the bench. Nikola Vucevic was also dominant, netting 19 points and 12 rebounds against Lopez.
The Nets seemed lazy in the first and second quarters, but at least they were still in the game. In the third quarter, Orlando came out firing on all cylinders and the Nets still looked as bored as they had in the first half. This allowed the Magic to build a huge 3rd quarter lead and the Nets never came close to threatening in the fourth quarter. Victor Oladipo was the biggest reason for Orlando’s win. He was extremely aggressive on both offense and defense and the Nets had no answer for him in the third quarter.
This was Jason Kidd’s first game as Nets head coach and needless to say, it wasn’t a great debut. Nothing Kidd said was able to turn this game around for the Nets. I thought that he would give some halftime instructions to allow the Nets to have a good third quarter, but instead Orlando looked like the more talented team.
The Nets are obviously still developing chemistry and their shooting was off all night, but the team is now 1-2 with 2 losses against a couple of pretty bad teams. Hopefully this will be their worst shooting performance of the year. They were only 38% from the field and 23% from 3 against a very bad defense. They were also outrebounded 54-42. It is hard to win games with numbers like those.
Player grades and notes:
Kevin Garnett: C
Garnett shot poorly for the second game in a row, but tonight he struggled on defense as well. The Magic were pick-and-rolling the Nets to death with Nik Vucevic and Garnett was not able to solve their offense.
Paul Pierce: B
For the second game in a row, Paul Pierce was Brooklyn’s best player. He had one huge dunk in the third quarter that he thought would ignite a Nets comeback, but it never happened. He didn’t shoot horrible like most of the rest of the team and led the team with 7 rebounds.
Brook Lopez: C+
Lopez led the Nets in scoring with 21 points, but he was not good tonight. He did not rebound nearly enough and nearly all his points came on jump shots from out of the paint. Some people call Lopez soft and this game is the reason why. He was badly outplayed by Nik Vucevic all night.
Deron Williams: D
Deron says he is not injured, but it hasn’t looked like that so far in the regular season. He only had 9 points on 4-12 shooting tonight and was completely unable to get anything going in the paint, which is where he is doing damage when healthy. His outside shot wasn’t falling either, and he was totally unable to stop Victor Oladipo.
Joe Johnson: F
The highest paid Net had 2 points tonight on 1-5 shooting in 23 minutes. That’s not gonna come close to getting it done.
Andray Blatche: F
The bench was horrible tonight, beginning with Andray Blatche. In the first half, he set the tone by taking horrible shots and he continued to prevent the Nets from coming back in the second half. Blatche had a good second half on Friday against Miami, but in the other 5 halves so far this season, he has been terrible.
Andrei Kirilenko: D
The refs seemed to have something against Kirilenko tonight, who was unable to get any calls in his favor in 11 minutes. He only scored 3 points, but it could have been more if he would have gotten some calls. I’ll give him a pass tonight because he could still be recovering from his back injury.
The Nets will hope to erase this game from their memory and will be back home on Tuesday night when they face Deron Williams’s former team, the Utah Jazz. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.