|Joe Johnson has been good this year, but tonight he took it to a completely different level|
About time the Nets won a game from start to finish without the result ever really being in question. Brooklyn scored the first seven points and never looked back, eventually building a pair of big leads in the 1st and 2nd quarters, 16 and 18 points respectively, that were squandered down to ten at the end of both of those frames. However, even with those mini-setbacks, the Nets remained up by at least ten for most of the game, until the 3rd quarter in which they broke the score wide open.
In the 3rd, normally a quarter from hell for the Nets, Brooklyn–namely Joe Johnson–went absolutely off, outscoring Philadelphia 42-25. In fact, Joe himself outscored the 76ers (29-25) on the strength of eight three-pointers in the quarters (not a typo). Admittedly, for most of those shots, Joe was wide, wide open as the 76ers' defense is notably horrendous (they've allowed 139 and 130 points in their last two games). There were some contested heat checks, though, but Joe still hit them fading away. Basically, he was unstoppable tonight, like the rest of his teammates.
There really isn't much else to say about this one because it was such a one-sided obliteration by the Nets. The 76ers, as noted by Donny Marshall on the YES broadcast, played with the chemistry of a team thrown together right before the game with ugly turnovers, bad shot selection, and brutally poor defense. On the other hand, Brooklyn played about as well as it has this season, hitting 60 percent of field goals AND three-pointers (only 58 percent from the free-throw line). The Nets also had 35 assists on their 47 made field goals, which accounts for an incredible ratio of good passing to high-percentage shots.
Some other observations I had from the game: All five of the Nets' starters–Mirza, Deron, KG, Joe, and Alan–were +26 or greater on the evening. I don't have proof to back this up, but I'm sure that's close to some sort of record…..D-Will was great for yet another game, scoring 13 points and dishing out 13 assists (5-for-8 shooting and three three-pointers). When he and Joe are healthy and clicking, like they were tonight, they are ridiculously hard to stop as they produce tons of offense and good shots. The 76ers saw that first hand….I'm not going to really go into specific on anyone else on the team because basically everyone that played significantly shot well, were efficient, and exerted a lot of hustle and energy on defense. A nearly-perfect team win all around, which is the Nets' fourth in their last five games. Now, we (and they) just wait for Brook Lopez to come back to game action.
The Nets are back at in in Brooklyn on Wednesday night as they take on the Washington Wizards in what should be another winnable game, especially if Brook Lopez returns from his ankle injury.