|Mo Williams may be 31 years old, but he definitely hasn't lost a step. He scored 21 points, grabbed six boards, and dished out seven assists in 27 minutes tonight.|
Even though their opponent was without, arguably, its best player and a key reserve, the Nets barely competed tonight in Portland, getting absolutely rocked by the hometown Trail Blazers. It started right from tip-off, as an athletic and young Blazers squad totally ran by slow, old Nets team to jump out to a 13-6 early lead. Brooklyn would come back to eventually take a one-point lead after a nice run, but Portland blew off that challenge and saw its advantage swell to nine points after the 1st quarter.
It would get worse after that. Portland's bench, led by Mo Williams, ran circles around that of the Nets, and led to the Blazers' winning the 2nd quarter by 15 points, building a 24-point (58-34) lead by halftime and securing a win with 24 minutes left to play. The result of this game was never really in question, as it was probably the Blazers' easiest win of the year.
Some other observations I had from the game: I know I didn't say much up top, but there really isn't a whole lot to say about this one. The Nets were around the midway point of their long West road trip and, even with everyone healthy, couldn't get anything going on offense or defense, for that matter, and just didn't see a whole lot of shots falling. It also didn't help that the effort level was at a season low, as Portland grabbed offensive rebounds at will and wasn't really contested on any shots, layup, mid-range jumper or even three-pointer…..Let's go through some stats: Portland had 53 rebounds, Brooklyn had 29. Portland shot 53.5% from the field, Brooklyn shot 39.5%. Portland was 13-of-31 (41.9%) from three-point range, Brooklyn was 4-of-22 (18.1%). That sums it up pretty well….Marcus Thornton finally made his Nets debut, and it was as good as it was going to be in a 44-point loss. He scored nine points, mostly in garbage time, but was just 1-of-6 from three, with a lot of open attempts. However, he was coming off food poisoning so he gets a one-game reprieve……Shaun Livingston returned from his tailbone injury, but didn't do much, not scoring and only compiling two assists in 12 minutes…..For some reason, when this game was close in the 1st half, Jason Kidd didn't give Jason Collins some playing time to help out the defense. Collins did play seven minutes in garbage time but his energy would have been best used in a tight contest.
The Nets have a quick turnaround to get rid of the stench of this ugly loss as they take on the Nuggets in Denver tomorrow night.