The Brooklyn Nets responded very well in their first test after Avery Johnson’s firing yesterday, beating the Charlotte Bobcats 97-81 at home. This was P.J. Carlesimo’s first game as head coach of the team and the team seemed to be functioning just fine without Avery Johnson. Brook Lopez played great for the Nets finishing with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Deron Williams added 19 points. Hakim Warrick scored 13 for Charlotte.
This game belonged to the Nets from the very beginning. They outscored Charlotte 33-15 in the first quarter led by 12 big points from Brook Lopez. After that, Brooklyn cruised through the game, leading by as many as 29 points in the third quarter. Charlotte made a small run to cut into the lead in the fourth, but never got within single digits.
In previous games where the Nets have had big second half leads, they have blown games in the third quarter, but that did not happen tonight. A large reason for that has to be the quality of the opponent. The Bobcats have now lost 17 straight games and have not yet won in the month of December. Many of the Nets’ issues looked to be solved tonight, but we will never actually know until they play a playoff team.
Brooklyn was better than Charlotte in virtually every statistic in this game. They had better shooting percentages, had more rebounds, had more assists, steals, and blocks. The team was clicking on both offense and defense throughout the game, or at least until 4th quarter garbage time.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Gerald Wallace: B-
Wallace had a pretty weird game. He didn’t score a single point, but still had 5 rebounds and 6 assists and he played good defense on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who was held to only 3 points. Wallace only shot 0-3 from the field and 0-2 from the foul line so it wasn’t like he was chucking up and missing shots. The Nets don’t need Wallace to score. They need him for his defense and hustle, which both showed up in this game.
Brook Lopez: A+
This was Brook’s first really good game since his injury. He was great and Nets fans can’t ask for anything more from him. He was 9-12 from the field, 8-8 from the line, had 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Offensively, he was great. Defensively, he was great. Rebounding-wise, he was great. I know he was playing against the Bobcats, but this was as close to a perfect game as he can play.
Deron Williams: B+
So is the good Deron Williams back for good? D-Will finally hit some jump shots tonight and finished shooting 7-14 from the field and 3-5 from 3. I can’t remember the last time he made more than two 3’s. Defensively, he held Kemba Walker to only 5 points on 2-10 shooting. The one thing missing from Deron’s game was that he only had 2 assists, but he still seemed in control of the offense and did not record a turnover, so that’s fine.
Joe Johnson: B
JJ played alright tonight. He didn’t shoot badly from the field and most of his missed 3’s were desperation shots at the end of the shot clock. He led the team in minutes with 34. If he can play like this consistently, the Nets will win most of their games.
Keith Bogans: A
Keith Bogans remained in the starting lineup today and did everything the Nets ask of him: hit 3’s. He was 3-3 from the field and 3-3 from long range, which is perfectly good for a player like him.
Andray Blatche: C+
This was not one of Blatche’s better games. In 14 minutes he had 2 turnovers and 4 fouls and played pretty terrible defense on Brendan Haywood. He made quite a few bonehead Wizards-era Blatche plays tonight.
Reggie Evans: A-
Another monstrous rebounding game from Reggie. He finished with 13 boards in 27 minutes and even contributed 5 points to the offense. One of his baskets came on a reverse layup off of an offensive rebound. It was one of the more exciting Nets buckets of the night.
Marshon Brooks: C+
I was not impressed with Marshon tonight. He played 20 minutes and many of them came in garbage time of this game. He really likes shooting. He took 8 shots from the field and 6 shots from the foul line. He had a very busy statline with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, and 2 turnovers. In my opinion, Marshon is not consistent enough to play real minutes for this team. He makes a lot of head-scratching plays.
The Nets will host the Cavaliers tomorrow night in another very winnable game for P.J. Carlesimo. We will have full coverage of that game at FRWD.