The Brooklyn Nets played much harder tonight than they usually do against the NBA’s best teams, but they just weren’t good enough to beat the Indiana Pacers tonight, losing 105-91. The Nets hung tough with Indiana on the road for most of the game, but were never able to get over the hump. Paul Pierce scored 18 to lead the Nets. Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and George Hill all scored over 20 for Indiana.
The Nets were very much alive tonight in the first half and only trailed by 2 points at halftime. In the second half, Indiana proved why they are the better team and beat the Nets pretty badly, especially in the fourth quarter. But at least the Nets showed some amount of heart tonight and didn’t just quit immediately once they realized they were the worse team. Even though this was a loss, it was a move in the right direction, which the Nets haven’t been doing recently.
Hopefully the Nets will be able to actually win one of the games on the road trip. If they play as hard as they did in the first half for the whole game, maybe they can steal a game in San Antonio or OKC.
Player grades and notes:
Mirza Teletovic: B
Mirza was back in the starting lineup tonight against a bigger Indiana team and played pretty well offensively. Defensively, he struggled against David West, which is to be expected. He had a great stretch in the second quarter where he wasn’t only hitting 3’s, but also made a putback layup and was driving into the paint. He is not only a 3-point shooter.
Paul Pierce: B-
Pierce had a much better game tonight than he did the last time when he played Indiana and was held scoreless. He shot well tonight, 8-14, and scored 18 points. Defensively, he didn’t do a good job on Lance Stephenson or Paul George, but not many in the NBA have been able to do that this year.
Deron Williams: C
Deron did not do nearly enough tonight to give the Nets a chance. For a max contract player, you need more than 14 points and 6 assists, especially when you give up 21 points to George Hill. Deron’s not a horrible player and he helps the offense, but he just needs to do so much more for the Nets to be a good team. He needs to be a better leader.
Joe Johnson: D
Joe was invisible for the third or fourth straight game, finishing with just 9 points and no assists. He shot badly and didn’t play defense either.
Shaun Livingston: C
Livingston went back to the bench tonight and didn’t play nearly as well as he did yesterday, but that also probably has to do with the fact that he was not playing against Milwaukee’s defense tonight. Still, Livingston may be better off playing with the starters than with the bench, but the Nets have a lot of players like that.
The Nets have a couple days off now, but they will continue their very tough road trip on Tuesday night in San Antonio. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.