Game Recaps

Game 2 Recap: Nets 91, Hawks 96

The Brooklyn Nets were oh so close to stealing a game in Atlanta, but fell just short after a potential game-typing jumper by Deron Williams went in-and-out with ten seconds remaining. The look followed a wild Nets comeback in the final minutes of the contest, going from nine down with under five minutes remaining to having a terrific chance at sending the game into overtime. The chance was blown by Williams, capping off a rough 1-7 shooting night from him, and so the Nets head to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Saturday at 3 p.m down 0-2 in the series.

The game began similarly to Game 1, with the Nets getting run out of the building. Atlanta took a quick double-digit lead, only to have Brooklyn fight back to keep within striking distance heading into the second. It was then that like in Game 1, Brooklyn went on a run, this time taking a slight lead behind a 12-0 run. The Hawks would battle back to regain control heading into halftime, however. The third quarter was a back-and-forth three-point shooting affair until the Hawks used their patented quick spurts to pull away by a decent margin, but not far enough. The Nets stroked it from deep in the final minutes of the fourth - including one from Jarrett Jack, of all people - to get back in it.

Here are the more in-depth observations of the Nets’ Game 2, with looks at who struggled, who was on fire, some schematic twists and the heartwarming return of one Mirza Teletovic:

Thaddeus Young was awful: Likely the biggest reason Brooklyn is in the Playoffs right now, Young had his worst game as a Net in one of the biggest of moments. He finished 1-7 from the field, forcing the issue, moving with little fluidity and struggling to find good looks in Atlanta’s swarming defense. He committed three turnovers, and defensively was a trainwreck. Young fell asleep on closeouts, got scorched on the pick-and-roll and was lost in transition. The Nets somehow almost won despite this, but down the line they’d likely prefer not to have to battle through one of their key offensive cogs laying an egg.

Williams adjusting: You wouldn’t be able to tell from his box score, but Williams tried to mix it up in this one. He faked the pick-and-roll and went away from the screen a few times in Game 2 in an effort to throw the Hawks’ defense off. It didn’t really go well, but credit for trying to get creative on one of the league’s best defenses.

Start Alan Anderson: Do it. He’s shot and defended better than Bojan Bogdanovic. He’s likely the Nets’ best bet on Korver, unless Brooklyn wants to sacrifice spacing in order to stick Markel Brown on the sharpshooter. Speaking of…

No Brown or Earl Clark: Brown didn’t get any minutes in Game 2 after starting in Game 1. Ditto for Clark, who struggled in his few minutes off the pine in Game 1. The Nets didn’t really miss either, but there was a consequence for leaving these two out of the rotation.

Plumlee-Lopez and Jack-Williams: Lionel Hollins wasn’t forced to play these two combos, but with Brown and Clark being less-than-viable options, he didn’t have many other ways to go. In case you weren’t aware, both combinations appeared for quite a few minutes in Game 2 despite being horrid lineups throughout the regular season. The Nets were outscored by 10.3 points per 100 possessions in 661 minutes with Williams and Jack on the floor together, and 13.7 in 373 minutes of Plumlee and Lopez. Stop this, please.

Teletovic back: Mirza Teletovic returned after not donning a Nets uniform in three months due to blood clots in his lung. It was a great moment, but his play backed up my opinion of why he shouldn’t have came back until next season. He was extremely rusty - reaching at bad times, not connecting from deep, committing a silly turnover and letting a ball slip through his hands all in four minutes. I love Mirza. Love him. But unless he’s in peak form, he’ll hurt the Nets more than he’ll help them in this series.

JARRETT FREAKIN’ JACK: He didn’t miss. He refused to miss. 23 points on 9-13 shooting from the field, in a performance most people expected out of him at some point in this series. Every so often he has one of these nights, but sadly this one came in a big loss.

BROOK FREAKIN’ LOPEZ: Lopez was near perfect tonight. He got more touches in the post, some ending badly due to Al Horford’s stupendous defense, but Lopez was superb all-around. He hustled big time on the boards and defensively, ran the offense without flagrantly ball-stopping and hit some big shots late. He finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocks on 8-15 shooting from the field.

Return of Joe Johnson at the four: This was a thing post-All-Star, but mostly went away after Young became a starter. This lineup played a ton of minutes tonight with Young struggling and the rotation being trimmed. Analysis on how it performed forthcoming.

Same ol’ problems: The Nets went 8-26 from downtown, many of them being open shots. The Nets committed 16 turnovers, many of them being lazy giveaways. The Nets were a mess in transition on both ends, giving up open looks and finding few of their own on fast breaks. These three things were also big issues in Game 1. This needs to change.