Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Game 2 Recap: Timberwolves 107, Nets 96

It took a crazy fourth quarter collapse at the Barclays Center on Monday night to drop the Nets' record to 1-1 on the young season and to send a jubilant Minnesota team home with a shocking victory. We all knew the Nets wouldn't go 82-0 but regardless, the first loss of any new season is crushing. According to the logic, last night's loss was simply devastating. 

Losing a game which you led by a score of 71-49 in the third quarter--at any time in the season--is awful and terrible and bad and horrific and bad. As my poor grammar and sentence structure show, the Nets' meltdown at the hands of the T-Wolves was inexplicable and stunning to those in attendance in Brooklyn, like myself. Cutting the Nets lead to 86-75 after the third, Minnesota went off in the final quarter, outscoring the home team by a tally of 32-10 and sending the crowd and Nets home in a daze, wondering: "What the f*** just happened?"

Well, simply put, what happened to let the T-Wolves back into the game was a mix of offensive isolations and stagnations and non-existent interior defense by the Nets and incredible offensive execution by Minnesota.

Some other observations I had from tonight's game: Once again, the Nets couldn't stop Nikola Pekovic, who has troubled them for years now. Pekovic scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds but was limited to 26 minutes due to foul problems. Imagine how much crazier his statline would have been had he not committed two fouls early in the first quarter......Dante Cunningham had 11 rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko had 10 as the Nets were outrebounded overall by the T-Wolves by 16. One word for that: Unacceptable.......Kris Humphries (two points, four rebounds) with another nothing effort. If he keeps this up, Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche could steal his spot in the starting lineup and some of his playing time......Positive: Brook Lopez had nine rebounds. Negative: Brook Lopez missed 10 of the 15 shots he took from the field. Avery Johnson went to him late in the game when the Nets needed a bucket and Brook threw up some really ugly sort-of-layup looking shots against Pekovic that were very low percentage. Avery's gotta draw up better plays for those situations......Keith Bogans hit three three-pointers while spot-starting in place of Gerald Wallace. Solid all-around performance in 14 minutes for the veteran......Tyshawn Taylor and Mirza Teletovic finally made their NBA regular season debuts. Mirza hit the first shot he took (a three at the end of the first half) while Tyshawn also made his first NBA shot......C.J. Watson played great yet again, showing how shrewd of a pickup he was for Billy King this offseason. Scored 10 points and dished out four assists in 23 minutes......Reggie Evans only grabbed two boards in 16 minutes of play. I guess his 13-rebound in 16-minutes pace from Game 1 wasn't gonna hold up.

Looking Ahead

The Nets take their talents to South Beach to play LeBron and the Heat on Wednesday night at the Triple-A.

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