Tonight we take on the Wizards. We cannot come into the nation’s capital and have the same mindset that we had last time we were there because they now have John Wall back. He has transformed there offense and team, improving them drastically. If we play the same way we did the last time, we’ll get wiped out quick. If we needed to go into into double OT without Wall, I can’t imagine us winning with the same strategy, especially since they were able to beat a good team like Knicks two days ago by 10 points. Before Wall’s return, the Wizards played a very one dimensional style of basketball with little passing but since he’s come back they’ve been passing much better and more often. I think it only took Wall’s presence on the floor to make his teammates better and his magnificent passing was just an added bonus. Wall is also a great driving point guard with his speed and strength, so we really have to try and limit his shots by the hoop because Nene and Okafor are already a handful down there. Trevor Ariza will also be difficult to control because he is such a scoring threat from all over the floor. The big matchup in this one will be between two floor generals in Deron Williams and John Wall. Both are putting up depreciated numbers this season when compared to last season, so this could also decide who can be their old self the best. It will all come down to how well they can interoperate their teammates into the game because they can score, just not enough to supply for most of their team’s points. I think that D-Will win this one because he has much more experience than Wall and he hade played much more this season, causing him to have more team chemistry. Let’s get a W tonight!

image

Nets at Detroit Pistons Analysis

Posted: February 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Not bad win last night. We could have definitely played better but as Brook Lopez said after the game, “At least we got the win.” We shot a final of 41.5% from the field but that stat is a little misleading because of our play in the fourth. In realty, we shot a bit over 35% for most of the game. That cans in another poor shooting night from the field. It is extremely difficult to win when you aren’t hitting your shots, especially open ones. Luckily, our defense stepped up and filled that void last night. The first quarter started out rough as Detroit took the early large lead. Eventuality we made amends and finished the quarter down by only 1. The second quarter was even worse. I hope this doesn’t turn into a habit because we’ve played well in the second quarter all year but in the last two games, we’ve just collapsed. Luckily to compromise, our usual terrible play in the third quarter has actually been quite well during this back-to-back. We were able to cut into the Pistons lead while giving our starters some key rest. The fourth quarter once again decided the winners
of the game. We started the quarter with our bench on the floor and they set the tone for the rest of it. MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche were a dynamic duo as they were creating so many open looks for each other and themselves. Once we brought our starters in, the game was pretty much over for Detroit. Will Bynum’s dribble penetration was able to keep Detroit in the game by giving his teammates were getting open looks. This time, when the Nets ran the offense through Brook Lopez at the end he was able to produce, unlike last game. YES said that Brook Lopez was the player of the game last night, but I disagree. We really have to appraise Reggie Evans for his much improved offensive game of late. We already know how much of a ferocious rebounder he is, but if he is able to score like he did last night, regardless of the range, teams will be forced to actually guard him, limiting the amount of double teams that Joe Johnson gets. The reason we won may have been because of Piston’s Andre Drummond. If he was on his game last night and didn’t have to sit out the second half with a sore back, then we probably wouldn’t have out rebounded our opponent 46-41. This game was meant to be an easy win for us and all that matters is that we were able to take advantage of this opportunity.

image

Tonight we take on the Pistons. I am not too worried about this matchup because Detroit isn’t a team that really anybody has to stress over. They have talent but just haven’t found a system that works for them yet. They were just involved in a three team trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Raptors and Jose Calderon to Detroit. I liked that deal a lot for the Pistons because they received an experienced point guard that can take their young star in the making, Brandon Knight under his wing. Although Calderon comes over the country border with a hefty salary, I think it will all be worth it in the end. Their roster is almost built like ours from the aspect that our three best players play at point guard, shooting guard, and the center position, which could be interesting to see how they match up against each other. Their shooting guard, Rodney Stucky matches up great with Joe Johnson because both love to have the ball in their hands and score.Their all-star caliber center, Greg Monroe is having a set back year from his much improved season last year, but that doesn’t make him not a threat to other teams. The big matchup in this one will be between Kris Humphries and Andre Drummond. Andre, the rookie out of UCONN started out below everyone’s radars and now he’s proved them completely wrong, averaging 7.4 points and 7.7 boards in only about 20 minutes off the bench. Humphries has also been coming off the bench since Reggie Evans took over his starting job, causing his numbers to diminish greatly from last season where he averaged a double double. Now he’s only averaging about 6 points and 6 boards a night, but a lot goes to the amount of minutes he receives. Atleast his effort is still there, making it possible from him to start putting up numbers like he used to. I think Kris will win this one because he just had much more experience than Drummond. We need to get rolling again with some wins and one tonight would begin the streak.

image

Last night’s lost was embarrassing. I felt like the Nets were experimenting in this game as it went on and we all know that that is what practice is for, but when almost the whole team misses it due to illness or injury then that time has to be made up somehow. Obviously, against a talented team like the Lakers is never a good time. The first quarter was great. We shut them down on both ends of the floor. There was the occasional breakdown in our transition defence, but for the most part it was much improved. In the second quarter we played like we usually do in the third quarter, which is bad. We just went cold. A big reason for that was the missing effort from our sixth-man, Andray Blatche who was a little under the weather last night. We had Mirza Teletovic on the floor for about a 6 minute stretch. Usually his first touch on the floor turns into a shot from downtown, but that just wasn’t the case last night. He actually attempted no shots in that stretch. When a head coach sends in his three-point specialist, that means that he wants him to shoot threes, not.just stand there and set occasional screens on offense. Eventually, he took his first shot of the quarter and game in the late seconds of the half, ending it with a turn around dagger from almost half court. We usually have great first halfs and then just collapse in the third quarter but when they end the first half with a deficit, then they are already in a deep hole. Luckily, they actually had one of their better third quarters of the season. It started rough but as we picked up steam, nothing could slow them down. We came into the second half down by 9 and although we couldn’t regain the lead, we were able to cut it down to 3. The fourth quarter was where the game was really decided. From the beginning of the quarter we had a mindset to take control of the game and we put that into action by taking our first lead since the second quarter. We held onto it for a little while and as the clock clock ran down I saw a rerun of the exact same ending as our last loss to them back in November. Joe Johnson is our finisher but we tried to experiment by putting the rock in Brook Lopez’s hands. That was an idiotic decision because has Joe played sensational for us late in games and Brook was only affective from inside the paint this game. Brook adds another dimension to our offense with his range and it showed tonight how important losing that is to us. Lopez was ineffective even in the paint in the end because the Lakers did their homework and learned how to avoid getting called for fouls for biting on Lopez’s killer rip move. We played sloppy for the rest of the game, allowing LA to finish it on a 10-0 run. One good thing is that we were able to maintain Kobe Bryant for the first three quarter until he came alive and put us to sleep in the fourth quarter. This loss ended our undefeated against below .500 teams streak but that doesn’t mean that it is okay to lose to those teams. This should be our only loss against under .500 teams this season because we are that good. Let’s finish up this double-header strong in Detroit tonight.

image

Tonight we take on the Lakers. They are in an interesting state right now as they try to get back into playoff contention. They are playing like a completely different team right now with Kobe Bryant adding passing into his bag of tricks. Over his last 10 games he averaged 7.5 assists while still maintaining high scoring numbers. This is aside from Steve Nash’s near 8 assists per game. A passing and scoring backcourt is one that should be feared all around the league, especially when they have such a huge presence in the low post in Dwight Howard. Luckily, there is a chance that he will be out for this game due to a shoulder injury. Chemistry is the only thing that is holding the Lakers backthis season. They are built like a championship team, just aren’t living up to their full potential. They aren’t using their all-star calibure 7 footer, Pau Gasol properly, which puts them at a huge disadvantage. It isn’t smart for a headcoach to put somebody that’s capable of putting up 20 points and 10 boards a night on the bench because he has given up on trying to utilize him in the offense. Mike Dantoni, the Lakers headcoach has implemented an offence first mindset into his players this season. If our defense can create stops without fouling then we should be able to hold them to under 85 total points and ride it out for the victory. Defense is a big problem for this Lakers team. Our offense cannot help them on defense with inexcusable errors. We need to make smart passes and draw their defenders to the man with the hot hand to open up an easy shot opportunity on the perimeter. With the chance that Superman (Dwight Howard) is out this game, we really have to take advantage of their lack of depth at the center position. This will involve us constantly feeding the ball down low to.Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche. The team that we are facing has one skill that we really have to focus on in this one, they play really well in transition. Transition defense has been one of our biggest problems this season, not because we aren’t recovering quick enough, it’s that we allow their one player to walk right in between both of our perfectly positioned defenders. The big matchup in this one will be between Joe Johnson and Kobe Bryant. Both are gifted shooters and masters at isolation plays so this one may only be decided by who has the hot hand the most. Defense won’t really that big of a factor in this matchup because both can consistently knock down near impossible shots with a defender in their face all night. Passing should become a factor in this matchup because although each team’s offense can function under one of them for a stretch in the game but if they can successfully incorporate the rest of their team into the game then this should be an interesting matchup because it will be like a basketball version of hot potato. I think that Joe will win this matchup because he usually comes up big for his team in big games like this one. Let’s get another W tonight!

image

I don’t even know what to say. I’m speechless. To see how just one quarter can lose a game and season series for a team is just unbelievable. Our first quarter was all right. They got a lead but it wasn’t too big. The second quarter was great, well the end of it. They started off hot but we ended on fire, tying the game up. The third quarter was unwatchable. They went on a 20-2 run and that pretty much sealed the deal because we were just ice cold for the rest of the quarter. I don’t know what’s wrong with us in that quarter but it has lost us games all season. From the start it looked like it would be a tight quarter that would finish tied but boy was I wrong. The fourth can’t really be factored into this game because we had given up. I can maybe understand the players giving up, which is when the coach comes in and knocks the sense out of the them. Instead, P.J. made it known that he was giving up around the 8:00 minute mark in the fourth quarter by inserting our whole bench when only down 18. A coach is supposed to set a good example for the team and when the Nets have been in a hole under P.J. he allows them to give up. How can a team expect to come back in a game when the two lineups on the floor were our bench and the other team’s starters. Unless there is some miracle, the other team’s starters will win 10 out of 10 times. We came into the fourth quarter down by 22 and what most upset me was our slow offense. At a time in the game where every possession is important for a comeback, we run the slowest offense of the game. This is why in 4 minutes of play we only cut the lead by four and then the bench came in. Turnovers played a huge part in this game. It was really simple, when we committed turnovers they got easy buckets in transition and when we didn’t, we got easy buckets. We need to improve when playing under pressure. When we were down big we made the most mental mistakes like Joe Johnson’s pass into the stands. Our rebounding wasn’t too horrible because we were able to successfully box the Heat players out for most part. The birdman (Chris Anderson) was able to get the best of us when he was on the floor but that was about it. We flourished when we fed Brook Lopez the ball. Also, he established a frightening blocking presence in the paint, scaring Miami from taking any shots near him. This was a statement game that we needed to win.

20130131-114640.jpg

Tonight we take on the Heat. This should be a heated game because it will be between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. We need to play at a pace that we are comfortable with. If we try to match their pace we’ll have no chance because we’ll be practicing that for the first time and they have for years. Miami is filled with star power and we are too, just not nearly as much. If we try to beat their big three at their own game, then they’ll destroy us because they are three of the best players in the NBA. Our big three is just as threatening as theirs when it is used properly. If we go by our system we’ll be fine, but if we start throwing alley oops because they are, then we’ll just keep giving up turnovers since we’ve never practiced their system. We have to focus on beating the Miami Heat as a whole rather than their individual players. If we take advantages of their weaknesses as a team, then we should easily win. They have a decent bench led by three point shooting king, Ray Allen. We have a great bench led by Andray Blatche. Ours actually matches up perfectly against theirs because their weakest position is center and we have two of the best in the league at that position. Also, since Joe Johnson helps run our second unit his perimeter D should help prevent Allen from hitting some his numerous 3s. Rebounding will be key for us in this one. We cannot afford to give up extra possessions to a team with so much talent. They aren’t stacked with rebounders, which is why we need to rely on our whole team to try and limit Lebron’s trips to the hoop. Lebron James is arguably the best player in the league so if he scores 30 on you, be happy. If the team is nervous about handling him, they just have to remember what they did to Carmelo Anthony last time. He scored a lot, 29 to be exact but that was on 29 shots. We need to pressure Lebron to take outside shots that he isn’t very comfortable with. I’m sure he’ll score at least 30
on us but if he could do that on no less than 25 shots, then we’d have done our job. Also, the more pressure we put on him, the more he’s tempted to pass to one of his teammates. This is where double teaming factors into this game. I’m sure P.J. Carlesimo will call for a few double teams on Lebron but if Lebron sees it coming and passes, we have to be able to recover quickly. There can be no mental mistakes in this game for us. Each possession matters in a game like this so we cannot give up any turnovers because of mental breakdowns. Physical turnovers is another story. They are a team that functions great in transition so any turnover is almost equivalent to a basket for them. We have to make sure that the ball on offense is always secure from defenders. The one thing I hate in our slower paced offense is that it sends our players a mental message that says defense should be played at the same pace as your offense. If playing slow works for them this game, then by all means continue because on offense we are committing the action and the defense responds with a reaction. On the other hand, if we are slow on defense then we won’t be able to react quick enough and they’ll just get easy buckets. Joe Johnson will be matched up against an excellent defender in Dwyane Wade. I think that the Nets should only give him 3 roles in this game. Prevent Dwyane Wade from running a successful pick and roll, hit open shots, and attract double teams. If Joe can consistently hit his open shots, then when he receives a pass while still being defended Miami will bring in another defender for a double team and all we have to do is just pass around to find the open man. The big matchup in this game will be between Brook Lopez and Chris Bosh. Brook got snubbed to make the all-star team as a reserve because Chris Bosh took his spot. Both average about 7.5 rebounds a a game but Lopez out beats Bosh by one in points and blocks. In this game Lopez will be guarded by both Joel Anthony and Chris Bosh because Bosh also plays a lot of minutes in the power forward position. Power forwards tend to score more than centers and Lopez still scores more than him, which proves a lot. In order for the Nets to win, they have to constantly feed Lopez the ball. Center is the Heat’s weakest position defensively and Lopez should do a good job taking advantage of it. On the defensive end, Brook has to start the block party early to make the Heat players have to look around to see where Lopez is on the floor before taking a shot. I think Brook Lopez will win this matchup because he is a better scorer and shot blocker than Bosh. We need a W tonight!

20130130-111212.jpg