Kevin Garnett made his return to the Brooklyn Nets in Philadelphia on Saturday night, as the Nets hung on to defeat the 76ers 105-101. Garnett scored 10 points in very limited minutes and looked fresh and sharp. Deron Williams led the Nets with 19 points and 9 assists while Mason Plumlee scored 16 off the bench. Thaddeus Young scored 20 for Philadelphia.
The Nets didn’t play well in the second half tonight, but that is fine because this game really was not very important. The Nets will need a small miracle in order to get home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, even if they win all of their remaining games. Because this game wasn’t important and was the 4th in 5 nights for Brooklyn, Jason Kidd gave Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson the 4th quarter off. Even though Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston, and some bench players didn’t play well in the fourth quarter against a depleted Philadelphia team, I wouldn’t be too concerned about this performance.
Player grades and notes:
Paul Pierce: B
Pierce had a pretty typical game with 11 points and 5 rebounds. His 3-pointers weren’t falling very often, but he was able to score by getting to the basket. He didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter.
Kevin Garnett: A
Garnett’s return was definitely the best thing that happened to the Nets tonight. He looked sharp despite not playing since late February and scored 10 points on 5-6 shooting in 13 minutes. I expect Garnett’s minutes to slowly increase over the last two weeks of the season and he should be able to play around 30 minutes in the playoffs if he’s healthy.
Deron Williams: B
Deron had a good first half but didn’t play as well in the second half. However, he did have a huge 4-point play late in the fourth and his 9 assists gives him 19 in the last two days.
Joe Johnson: C+
Joe didn’t do very much tonight and like Pierce, he didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter. He hit a couple of 3′s, but didn’t seem like he did very much.
Mason Plumlee: A-
Plumlee came off the bench today for the first time in over a month and actually played really well. He had 16 points and 7 rebounds on 8-10 shooting. All of his points came right at the rim on either dunks or layups. He still fouled too much, but that’s ok in a game like this.
Andray Blatche: B-
Blatche had his good moments and his bad moments. He falls in love with his jumper too much and took some bad shots, but he also made some really nice passes tonight.
The Nets now have a couple of off days before heading down to Florida to face the Miami Heat in a showdown on Tuesday night. FRWD will have full coverage of the game and you can find Brooklyn nets vs. Miami Heat tickets here.