The Nets Only Play Eight Minutes of Basketball, Somehow Get the Win
The Brooklyn Nets showed up for all of about 8 minutes on Sunday against the Detroit Pistons. Luckily for them, that was all they needed in order to get the win. The Nets were on the second night of a back to back, after losing in Cleveland against the Cavaliers due to some “questionable” calls from the referees.
Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the leading scorer for the Nets. Wayne Ellington, who turned 28 on Sunday, finally provided a much needed spark off the bench for the Nets as he had 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez both had decent nights as they combined for 28 points on 10-28 shooting. Although they did combine for 28 points, they also turned the ball over three times each. Lopez was one steal shy of recording a 5×5, something that hasn’t been done since 2012.
Bojan Bogdanovic continued to struggle as he only had 4 points on 2-6 shooting. Over the last 8 games, Bogdanovic has averaged 3.5 points on 25% shooting from the field. The second year guard from Bosnia was expected to be a key contributor off the bench for the Nets this year, but has always been known as a very streaky scorer.
Andre Drummond collected 10 offensive rebounds and 18 rebounds total while putting up 20 points. As impressive as Drummond was, he shot 2-11 from the free throw line, something he has struggled with his whole career. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 21 points and 7 rebounds. However, he did give Ellington a birthday present, as Ellington was able to cross him up for a highlight play that went viral on social media.
KCP did get Ellington back later on in the game with a move of his own however.
The game kicked off a home stand for the Nets, who play 7 of their next 8 in Brooklyn. Andrea Bargnani left the game in the first quarter due to tightness in his left hamstring, the same one that kept him sidelined during the preseason. Bargnani will not play on Tuesday, as the Nets host the Phoenix Suns.
The Nets trailed almost the entire game until Shane Larkin hit a 3 pointer to put the Nets up three with a little less than 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Larkin had 9 points and 2 assists off the bench in 21 minutes for the Nets. Larkin led the Nets comeback during the fourth quarter as starter Jarrett Jack remained on the bench for the majority of the quarter. Hollins once again decided to go with offense-defense substitutions late in the fourth as the game came down to the wire. As the Pistons were down three in the final seconds, Reggie Jackson chucked up a shot that missed terribly but Drummond was able to grab the rebound under the basket but not before getting fouled and going to the line for two free throws. Drummond missed both as the Nets closed out the game for the win.
The Pistons weren’t able to capitalize on the Nets mistakes late in the fourth. The Nets turned the ball over 3 times in the final three minutes of the game, 2 of which were Lopez’s fault. The Nets turned the ball over 19 times during the course of the game and didn’t play with much heart or energy in the first half. The Nets were very fortunate that the Pistons weren’t hitting their shots or this game would have gone quite differently. If the Nets want to prove their critics wrong, they will have to play 48 minutes every night. The Nets host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.