Welcome To F#@king Brooklyn, Aye!
Series Tied 1-1
I - BKN 94; TOR 87
II - TOR 100; BKN 95
III - FRIDAY NIGHT
FLATBUSH AVENUE at ATLANTIC AVENUE
The Borough of Kings
BROOKLYN NETS: Truth Is, We Enjoy That Kind Of Chutzpah Around Here. So, Tell What's His Face To Come Get Some.
Don't Ya Know A Gut Check When Ya Hear One?
That's what you get when faced with The Truth. Last season, Game Two would have been followed by a chorus of excuses, rationalizations, self loathing, and soft spoken dismay. This season, Paul Pierce issued his rather pointed assessment of Game Two, and concluded the Nets were soft.
Pierce was not just popping off at the mouth. His words were intentionally loaded. First and foremost, his teammates should take what he said at face value, but above all, they should take his admonishment to heart, because he was right.
Who doesn't realize his words were meant to incite specific members of this team as they head into a pair of games at Barclays Center? Pierce was flat out challenging his team to dominate on their home court this weekend. And, for those who still do not get it, Paul Pierce's mind is already on Game Five.
Pat Riley always said the most important games in a seven game series were Three an Five. Paul Pierce understands that very well, as does Kevin Garnett, and Jason Kidd.
Despite his late game failings in Game Two, the Nets accomplished a necessary split on the road largely thanks to Paul Pierce. Had he hit a few shots down the stretch in Game Two, the Nets could very well be up 2-0 in this series. At the same time, if the Nets had secured just a few more second chance opportunities, the whole course of Game Two changes.
Who envisioned the Nets being this inept on the glass? That said, Paul Pierce's words should have forced his teammates to stare themselves down in the mirror. Sometimes leadership manifests itself in forcing people to feel uncomfortable by employing a less than delicate tact. That's why he was brought here. So, if these Nets truly want to represent Brooklyn at its finest, they had all better toughen up.
Paul Pierce is going to be in a position to win more games for the Nets, because he's Paul Pierce. The question he is trying to eliminate is, who's coming strong with him?
* * * *
DeMar DeRozan was the only player to exceed 20 points in Game Two. In fact, he scored 17 of his game high 30 points in the fourth quarter. Toronto out-rebounded the Nets by a whopping 52-10 margin.
The Nets could not capitalize on 20 Toronto turnovers. Their shooting went cold at critical times of the game. Paul Pierce was a particularly frigid 2/11 from the field, and 0/6 from beyond the arch.
Deron Williams scored 15 points, and tied with Shaun Livingston with 5 assists. Mirza Teletovic and Mason Plumlee combined on 18 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. Joe Johnson led the Nets with 18 points.
Toronto now enters Barclays Center where the Nets posted a 28-13 home record this season, and at one point, won 15 consecutive games on their herringbone floor. The Raptors played respectable basketball on the road, posting a 22-19 record away from Canada this season.