There Is No Joy For Jason's Kids, As His Team Falls Flat In His Coaching Debut.
BROOKLYN NETS: After Turning Down The Heat, Flatbush Suffers A Classic Let-Down Against The Orlando Magic.
Sunday Night Final:
The Nets have played twelve quarters of basketball now, and defensively, early indications say the second half just isn't their gig - yet. In three games, they allowed the Cavs 30-points in the 3rd quarter, allowed Miami 31-points in the 3rd quarter, and Sunday night allowed the Orlando Magic 33-points in both the 3rd and 4th quarters. Over their other eight quarters of basketball, the Nets have limited their first three opponents to an average of 22.3 points, and kept them all under 50-points in the first half.
Astonishing to me regarding Sunday night, the Magic crushed the Nets on the boards, outrebounding them by a 54-42 margin, and outscored the Nets in the paint 42-points versus 26-points for the Nets. So much for Brooklyn's strengths.
Six Orlando players scored in double-digits versus just two for the Nets. Thirty-something shooting percentages reared their ugly heads again to spook Brooklyn's night. Both teams took 89 shots from the field, both made 7 three-point attempts, and Orlando only made two more free throws than the Nets. But the Magic wound up shooting 47.2% from the field, while Flatbush struggled to shoot 38.2%, and were particularly cold in the first half.
The roll-call of errant shooters is long. Kevin Garnett was 3/11 from the field, Deron Williams was 4/12, and Joe Johnson was 1/5. Off the bench, Mirza Teletovic was 1/6, Andrei Kirilenko was 1/5 and Andray Blatche was 1/7 from the field.
Brook Lopez led all scorers with 21-points, but as you see got little in the way of help. In a stellar individual performance, he also pulled down 6 rebounds and blocked 5 shots. Paul Pierce was the only other Nets players in double-digits with 16-points. The Nets got good ball distribution from Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston, who combined on 14 assists - issuing 7 each.
To be fair, the Nets are not the only team Orlando will get the best of. Many opponents will continue mistaking them for a lottery team, and fall to them miserably, just like the Nets did, by a depressing 107-86 final score.
Center Nikola Vucevic had his way with the Nets inside. He tied for the team high with 19-points and led all players with 12 rebounds. Orlando's hot draft selection, Victor Oladipo tied for the team lead with 19-points, and issued four assist. Andrew Nicholson came off the bench to oppress the Nets with 17-points and another 11 rebounds, with eight coming on the defensive glass. Arron Afflalo led all players with 8 assists.
The latest Jason Kidd era begins with a loss - the team's second of the season. The sour taste of this defeat will linger until they get back to Flatbush Avenue and host the Utah Jazz at Barclays Center on Tuesday night.