Saturday, April 26, 2014

Brooklyn Nets: Game Three - Jason's Kidds Narrowly Avoid Accident On Flatbush Avenue

From the desk of:  THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

Flatbush Leads Series 2-1
I - BKN 94; TOR 87
II - TOR 100; BKN 95
III - BKN 102; TOR 98

Game Three Final:
Raptors  98
NETS   102

BROOKLYN NETS: Flatbush Hoops Blow 15 Point Lead To Make Things Uncomfortable Down The Stretch.

Everything almost went according to plan.  The crowd was good enough, and the Nets similarly played good enough to win.  To be honest though, the crowd could have been better, at least in the first quarter, and the Nets could have played better, after all, they let a 15 point lead dwindle down to one with less than a minute left in the game.  Truth be told, Toronto screwed themselves in the closing minute by hoisting a series of bricks from the free throw line.

Now, because I live here, there's every chance I might be over critical of last night's game, but, when I see guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett buying into their Brooklyn experience more than perhaps some of the ticket holders, well..........  there's something about last night that wreaks to me of underachievement, or lacking killer instinct.

This is a resilient borough, but I warned you apathy runs deep here.  The Brooklyn Dodgers were not called The Bums for nuthin'.  Either that, or this place still has a lot to re-learn about being a major league town again.

Be better this Sunday!

The Brooklyn Nets took a 2-1 lead in their best of seven series against the Atlantic Division winning Toronto Raptors.  Joe Johnson continued leading Brooklyn's way with 29-points, which was only one behind DeMar DeRozan's game high 30-points.  Joe was 11/17 (65%) from the field, and 6/9 from the line.  He led all players with 40 minutes.

The Nets won Game Three's points in the paint by a 42-32 spread, largely thanks to Joe Johnson, who is getting to pick his spots on the floor.  Kevin Garnett and Mason Plumlee combined on 30 minutes and could only muster 6 points, on 3/7 from the floor, and 0-2 from the line.  They only pulled down 6 rebounds and blocked one shot.

Deron Williams was 3rd on the scoring list, with 22 points, and issued a game high 8 assists.  He was 50% from the field on 7/14 shooting.  There was a point we saw the angry Deron again, which is a good thing.  He glared at a few Raptors when the game started getting physical.  That was a look missing since Deron torched Phoenix for 28 points, in the first game after John Wall lit him up for 33 points on March 15th in Washington.

Shaun Livingston's contributions however remain minimal.  Be it because of Toronto's effort, a compromised toe, or feeling ill, Livingston has yet to give Brooklyn a true back court edge the three provided together during the regular season.  Yet, he led the Nets with 6 rebounds Friday.

Brooklyn closed the rebounding gap considerably over Game Two.  This time they only got out done by a 35-29 margin.  Defensive rebounds were almost even, but Toronto pulled down 5 more offensive rebounds than did Brooklyn.

However, the Nets defensive effort is still causing an abundance of Raptors turnovers.  They also continue to keep Kyle Lowry somewhat bottled up, and finally came up with a measurable defense against Jonas Valanciunas.

Andray Blatche fueled Brooklyn off the bench with 18 minutes, 12 points and 4 rebounds.  He was 2/3 from the floor and a perfect 8/8 from the line.

The Nets must continue holding court in Flatbush.  Sunday's Game Four at Barclays Center is set up for them to take a 3-1 strangle hold on the series.  Let's see what kind of killer instinct they play with then.


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