After last night’s impressive 22 point victory the Nets couldn’t make it two straight as they lost by nine to Washington. It was a competitive game throughout, other than an 18-2 run the Wizards went on in the middle of the third quarter the game was pretty evenly back and forth. After being up 51-50 the Nets struggled and only scored 39 points in the second half in a pretty slow paced grind it out game on both ends. The Nets continued their string of poor shooting going only 4-17 from three, at some point this has to end. In some ways it still could have been worse, the Wizards are a better three point shooting team than Brooklyn, but they also struggled to a 5-16 performance from outside. Additionally, the Wizards shot a Plumlee like 14-27 from the line, while the Nets went 14-18, and Plumlee himself went 3-4.
Coach Hollins continued to tinker with his rotation, especially on the wing. Bojan started the game again and played a solid 26 minutes, but Alan Anderson ended up playing 30, including the more important crunch time minutes. Meanwhile Sergey Karasev was dealt another DNP, Karasev has been suffering from an illness so its possible Hollins was resting him, but he seems to have fallen out of the rotation yet again. Up front Mason and Brook played 24 and 27 minutes respectively, and only a few together in the combination that worked so well last night. Coach Hollins continued to put a heavy burden on Jarrett and Joe has he played them each 40 minutes. Deron Williams absence has forced Hollins to play the two of them a lot, but he should look to balance out the rotation a little more by giving some more time to Morris, Karasev, or even Markel Brown.
If the Nets had been told before Friday’s game that they would win one game in a blowout and lose the other in a competitive game, they would probably be happy to hear it. The Nets offense stagnated down the stretch as Joe couldn’t get enough good looks, Jack and Mason pick and rolls weren’t leading to much, and Brook struggled in the post. With all of those things going wrong and no Deron around the Nets really struggle to get good looks, and despite solid defense couldn’t get the win. Tonight was a disappointing loss as the Nets were in it the whole time and certainly could have won the game, but the Nets will take these two results and try and build from it.
FULL BOX SCORE
Jarrett Jack: Jack played a very strong game overall as he shot the ball well (10-18), dished out a solid eight assists, and played surpassingly solid D on John Wall helping to limit him to 11 points on 5-15 shooting. Unfortunately Jack turned the ball over five times, and struggled at the end of the game when Brooklyn needed him. Whether it was from fatigue or not, Jack settled for a couple tough midrange shots on key possessions, and if he had executed a little better the game might have turned out differently. B+
Joe Johnson: Joe was able to get pretty good looks against the Wizards wing trio of Porter, Butler, and Pierce, but he struggled to connect as he went 6-17 from the field in route to 15 points. Joe’s defense seemed fine and he got three steals, but he finished with the lowest +/- of the starters at -11 and didn’t really do anything particularly positive out there on the court. Hollins needs to try and rest him some more though, he’s 33 and played 37 or more minutes in nine of his last ten games. C+
Kevin Garnett: Garnett started off the game shooting the ball well scoring a quick six points in the opening minutes, but only hit one field goal from there on out and finished with eight. On defense he seemed to struggle a bit with the Wizards size as both Seraphin and Nene scored on him a couple times in the post. Garnett’s rotations were good as usual, but Nene is a tough matchup for him at this point, and Nene finished as the Wizards leading scorer with 20. C-
Bojan Bogdanovic: Bojan got the start, and based on his play probably deserved to get crunch times over Alan Anderson. He shot 50% on his six attempts, used his size to secure five rebounds, and wasn’t getting noticeably torched by Bradley Beal. He ended with a team high +8, and deserved a bit more time in this one. B
Mason Plumlee: Mason was limited by foul trouble throughout the game, ending with five fouls in only 24 minutes of play. Mason was good on offense shooting 4-7 despite a couple ugly post ups early and his transition game and pick and roll game always helps open up the floor for the Nets. He only got three rebounds in his minutes though, and a couple times seemed hesitant to contest shots at the rim because of his foul trouble. B-
Alan Anderson: Anderson only got up four shots in 30 minutes of play, and was his usual non impactful self. Anderson doesn’t really seem to hurt the Nets when he’s out there, but he also doesn’t really seem to help at all as he’s oftentimes barely noticeable. He ended up a game low -14, so maybe he was hurting the Nets, and nothing in his play really justified him playing over Bojan down the stretch. D
Brook Lopez: After his hot game last night Brook forced a bit too many difficult shots out of the post leading to his 5-13 performance from the field. Other than one brief stretch in the second quarter where he had a couple of and ones Brook didn’t do much else on offense tonight. He did do a decent job on D though as he has the size/strength to matchup with the Wizards bigger post players. C+
Mirza Teletovic: Mirza had one sweet deep three from the top of the key, but otherwise was pretty ineffective going 2-7 from the field. Mirza was also out hustled for a couple offensive boards by Humphries, and beat by Seraphin in the post a few times. Despite all of this Mirza still only finished as a -2, and the way he opens up the Nets offense can’t be ignored. Mirza’s struggles have made us all here at Brooklyn’s Finest very sad, hopefully he can pick it up soon. C-
Darius Morris: Darius only played a brief seven minutes of relief for Jarrett, but didn’t do anything particularly exciting. The only category on the box score Darius had more than one in was +/-, nothing to write home about. Maybe the Nets should look to sign one of the backup PG Nate’s (Robinson or Wolters), as Hollins doesn’t seem to trust Morris in that role. C
Cory Jefferson/Markel Brown: They got into the game with 30 seconds left, nuff said. Incomplete
Coach Hollins: I went over Hollins rotations more in depth above, but overall they weren’t great. In terms of strategy the Nets still lack anything particularly creative on offense, the Nets lack in talent, but it would be nice to see Lionel try and mix it up a bit and get the ball moving a little more. C+
The Nets next play Wednesday at Sacramento, 10:00 ET.