Brooklyn Nets defeat Detroit Pistons 87-83 (Game Wrap-Up)


Tonight was the first home game for the Brooklyn Nets in a stretch of 8-9 games at Barclays (and the away game is at Madison Square Garden), and they started it off with a bang, defeating the Detroit Pistons 87-83. The Nets now move to 4-13, and with their schedule set to lighten up over the next few weeks, they are in prime position to crank out a couple good winning streaks.

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Nov 29, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) shoots over Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during second half at Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Detroit Pistons 87-83.

Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The first three quarters of the game were extremely slow and sluggish for both teams. The Nets made a lot of lazy passes, and their ball movement seemed to be off. On numerous occasions, Joe Johnson, Jarrett Jack, and even Brook Lopez under threw passes to the wing, resulting in steals by Pistons’ guards. The Nets had 19 turnovers overall, and the assist to turnover ratio was negative at 15:19. Because of this poor ball movement, the Nets were unable to shoot the ball at a high rate, shooting in the mid 30 percent range through those first three quarters. The Nets also had their lowest scoring first half (35) since early last season.

Throughout the night, Brook Lopez had been missing shots, getting bad looks, and struggling with his post moves. He coughed the ball up a few times when backing guys down, and he started off the night shooting just 2-12. However, in the fourth quarter, he began to play with some fire. He hit a nice runner from about 12 feet after driving to the basket, which got him going. He proceeded to make 4 of his next 6 shots, and he drew some crucial fouls, including an offensive rebound on a Joe Johnson airball in the last minute. Despite playing poorly throughout most of the game, Lopez turned it on when it mattered most.

Backup shooting guard Wayne Ellington, who has struggled with his shot all year, finally was able to find his stroke, hitting 5 of his 7 field goal attempts on his way to a 12 point game (a season high). If Ellington can continue his hot shooting, the Nets will have another weapon off the bench. Ellington is a career 38 percent three-point shooter, so it was only a matter of time before he started making them.

The Nets also did a terrific job guarding the talented Pistons’ wing players, as they held Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a combined 13-47 from the field. These guys usually do a great job shooting and slashing to the rim, and the Nets did a terrific job shutting them down. They held the Pistons overall to just 33.7% from the field.

Despite the slow start, the Nets closed this game in a way that they have struggled with all season. Most of their losses have been in tight games that they have been unable to finish, so it is a positive sign to see them win against a quality opponent in this fashion. If the Nets can continue to put in high effort, especially late in games, their season will turn around very fast. They have the talent, but if they can get the winning mentality going, it will be an entirely new team.