BROOKLYN NETS: After Passing The Ball Around Like The Globe Trotters, And Scoring 40 Points In 1st Quarter, The Ice Cold Chuckers Of Last Season Reappeared To Spoil Homecoming.
Say what you will about Monday's loss at Barclays Center, but among the choices, agree this was a vintage 2012-2013 performance. What I heard, was the Nets ran out of gas. What I saw, was the same crap as last season, just with a few different faces to blame.
The Nets outscored Portland 33-18 from the free throw line, and benefited from 14 Portland turnovers, while the Nets only turned the ball over 7 times. Flatbush got marginally outrebounded for the game 46-40, but the Nets pulled down 14 offensive rebounds, while Portland managed 7 offensive boards. Portland outperformed the Nets on the defensive boards though, by a considerable 37-26 margin.
Of course defense is always an issue. The real problem is when Nets shooting heads south. The Nets made 9 more attempts from the field than the Blazers did. The Nets took 85 shots, while Portland took 76 shots. The Blazers however, shot 53.9% from the field, while the Nets struggled mightily after the first quarter, and finished the night with a deflating 36.5% shooting percentage. Nets shooting got worse from 3-point land. The Blazers were 8/18 (44.4%) from beyond the arch, while Brooklyn struggled to make 3/13 (23.1%)3-point attempts.
Kevin Garnett in particular, started the first quarter on fire, connecting on the Nets first five field goal attempts. He was 6/6 for the quarter, but shot just 2/13 the rest of the game.
The Nets outscored the Blazers 40-31 in the first quarter, and allowed Portland 77 points over the final three quarters. But all the Nets could manage were 23 points in the second, an anemic 15 points in the third, and just 20 points in the fourth quarter, en-route to a 108-98 defeat.
Perhaps fatigue did play a part. Maybe age and injury had their affects after four games in six days? Maybe. This much is certain.. Early in the game, the Nets put on a clinic focusing on ball sharing. Then midway through until the final buzzer, Brooklyn collectively seemed content to launch singular unassisted shots. Growing up in Brooklyn, we called guys like that - chuckers.
Joe Johnson led the team with 3 assists. That's pathetic! Paul Pierce, Tyshawn Taylor, and Shaun Livingston only registered 2 assists each. That's a lot of loitering on Flatbush Avenue. While at the other end of the floor, Portland's Damian Lillard issued 9 assists, and Mo Williams had 6 assists off the bench.
Shaun Livingston did drop 23 points, and slammed down a left-handed highlight jam over Brook Lopez' brother, but his efforts are being overshadowed by continued losing.
Continued losing, and a whole lot of standing around against the Blazers may be exactly what precipitated a lengthy closed door meeting (Tweeted by Ohm Youngmisuk) after Monday's game. Other Tweets said Kevin Garnett was the lead mouth, and screamed on everyone, to include Jason Kidd.