RECAP: Nets 87, Spurs 99
|Mirza Teletovic, PF 34 MIN | 8-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | -7
Teletovic got the start at the power forward position in Kevin Garnett’s absence and played the third-most minutes on the team, finishing with 22 points and 8 rebounds. He was one of the few Nets to shoot well against the Spurs, making 4/8 threes, and while he only recorded an assist on the night, his presence opened up the floor and allowed the ball to move a bit more than with KG (24 team assists on 34 made field goals, or assists on 70.6% of baskets, compared to 52.9% on the season). On the defensive end he gave up some… considerable size to Boris Diaw and was bullied around the basket.
|Joe Johnson, SF 35 MIN | 5-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -3
Johnson struggled shooting the ball, missing five of his seven three-point attempts and 11 of his 16 total shots, and somehow didn’t get to the free throw line once in his 35+ minutes of action. He did a decent job defensively early on an aggressive Kawhi Leonard, holding him to 1-5 shooting on jump shots in the first quarter (3-7 overall in the quarter), but had a bad stretch in the second quarter when he fouled Leonard on a fast break layup and surrendered seven points in just over two and a half minutes, as the Spurs lead stretched to over 15 points.
|Brook Lopez, C 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -16
A night after playing one of his best games of the early season, Brook Lopez struggled Saturday against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio front-line (basically just Duncan and Aron Baynes). Duncan was able to use his length and footwork to bother Brook’s looks from the low-post, preventing him from muscling his way into the paint or following through on his jump hooks. He made a couple of tough layups as the finisher on the pick and roll, including a running bank-shot from above the half-circle, but again was unable to get into a fourth quarter under Lionel Hollins.
|Deron Williams, PG 37 MIN | 10-21 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 24 PTS | -5
In another matchup against an elite NBA point guard, Deron Williams again held his own and showed glimpses of being the best player on the floor. Deron went toe to toe with Tony Parker tonight and outscored his San Antonio-counterpart 24-22 in about two fewer minutes, while matching him in assists and turnovers. Parker got his customary shots at the rim and finished at 50% from the field on his 18 attempts, but Deron made a couple of plays on the defensive end; forcing a turnover by reaching in on a Parker drive, and then stealing an outlet pass off of a San Antonio defensive rebound later in the quarter.
|Bojan Bogdanovic, SG 24 MIN | 0-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -21
Bojan’s last week of box scores: Saturday, at Portland - 0 points on 0-7 field goals, 0-4 from 3.
|Cory Jefferson, PF 8 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3
Jefferson got into his fifth game of the season and played a little more than eight minutes against the Spurs, as Hollins altered his big man rotation on the second night of a back-to-back. He came in amped up and tried to harness that nervous energy, often ending up on the floor or knocking into other players. He had an assist and two points on two shots (making a jumper), and gave Hollins a more conservative option off the bench after starting Mirza and playing some Alan Anderson at power forward.
|Mason Plumlee, C 8 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -5
For the second consecutive game Plumlee saw his minutes and spot in the big man rotation go to Jerome Jordan. His first minutes off the bench came at the start of the second quarter and alongside Brook Lopez, and he finished with only 3 points and an offensive rebound in his eight minutes of playing time.
|Jerome Jordan, C 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +4
Jordan was the first big man off of Lionel Hollins’s bench tonight and looks to have leaped Mason Plumlee in the rotation. He grabbed five boards and scored five points on three shots, and had a nice finish on a layup as the trailer while Deron pushed the ball in transition.
|Jarrett Jack, PG 25 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -7
A night after having his best game of the season, Jack too struggled with his shot, converting just two of his seven attempts. Since his shot wasn’t falling he chipped in on the boards, set up his teammates, and didn’t take any threes. His push-off foul with about eight minutes left in the third quarter prevented the team from trimming their deficit to below eight points, and Hollins limited him in the fourth quarter, starting with Deron Williams at the point instead. Jack also received a technical foul for confronting Aron Baynes on his way into a timeout, after taking exception to some earlier physicality.
|Jorge Gutierrez, PG 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3
Gutierrez checked in when the game was already decided, but added two rebounds and an assist to the stat sheet in his two and a half minutes.
|Alan Anderson, SG 22 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -12
It seems like Alan Anderson was another Net who left his jumper in Oklahoma City. He shot one of six from the field in just under 22 minutes, but chipped in on the boards and collected four offensive rebounds, of his seven total.
|Markel Brown, SG 3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +3
Hollins dug deep into his bench tonight and played 13 total guys, including Markel Brown for the first time in his NBA career. He knocked down a three in his two and a half minutes, which is an area he needed to work on at the NBA level, as I wrote about in my preseason piece on wings. Hopefully the defensive-minded rookie can see more minutes in the future.
|Sergey Karasev, SG 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3
Sergey appeared with two and a half minutes left in a 15-point game, but got one opportunity to guard Kawhi Leonard before Gregg Popovich could pull his starters. He cut off Leonard’s baseline drive and forced him to spin towards the middle and into help, but reached in on the foul and surrendered an and-one. In those remaining minutes he missed a three-pointer and assisted on two baskets, and it’s unclear what effect this performance will have on his impending trade value.
Hollins has made some changes to his rotation thus far on the road trip, by bringing Jerome Jordan in as the first big off the bench and even reverting to the Mirza-at-center lineup tonight that he’s used sparingly since the opening night loss in Boston. He began the fourth quarter with Jarrett Jack on the bench and Deron Williams with the second-unit (after Deron left the game in the third quarter with a leg injury scare), and wasn’t afraid to ride the hot hand and play Deron almost 37 minutes (against Tony Parker’s 39 minutes). For a team that seriously lacks in athleticism, giving players like Cory Jefferson, Markel Brown, and Jorge Gutierrez isn’t a bad idea, long-term, but burying Mason Plumlee with single-digit minutes in consecutive games seems counter-productive.
Three Things We Saw
- Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic carried the offense tonight and were the only Brooklyn Nets to not struggle shooting the ball. Combined, Deron and Mirza posted 46 points on 35 shots (with 13 rebounds and 8 assists), shooting 51.4% from the field and 50% on 12 three-pointers. The eleven other Nets converted 28.6% of their 56 field goal attempts, for 41 points.
- The Nets shot 37.4% from the field and 9-27 from three on the night, but battled back from a couple of 15-point deficits to get it to down eight about halfway through the fourth quarter. The Spurs responded by making their next four shots and all of a sudden it was back to 15 with under four minutes left. San Antonio shot 51.9% on field goals and 8-21 on three-pointers, and the lead was safe enough to keep Tim Duncan and his 7-point, 10-rebound, 7-assist, 4-block, 3-steal statline to just under 26 minutes. Manu Ginobili barely broke a sweat, with 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists in just 24 minutes.
- After playing seven games in the last eleven days, it’s no surprise that Lionel Hollins expanded his rotation in the San Antonio game, getting thirteen players into the game. The Nets will have the next three days to get to Philadelphia for a Wednesday night game against the winless 76ers, and won’t play again until Sunday the 30th, at home against the Chicago Bulls. The Nets will have a relatively easy Thanksgiving holiday with some opportunities to rest up, before playing 16 games in December, including five back-to-backs.