The Brooklyn Nets battled the Boston Celtics Thursday night, which aired on YES Network and TNT. The whole nation witnessed the Nets beat the Celtics again on national television. Despite just having two thirds of their trio, Brooklyn ended up victorious against the C’s once again. This battle was back and forth all game, as neither team ran away with a large lead. Nevertheless, the Nets battled Boston and found a way to win this game, as they pulled away in the 4th quarter led by Kyrie Irving. The Nets got the dub, 121-109.
Shaking Off the Rust
Coming into this game, the Nets were 24-13 after coming off two solid wins just before the Allstar break. Early on, it was obvious that the Nets were not playing like themselves. There were an abundance of turnovers and risky passes, especially from James Harden. Despite having a solid game overall, The Beard was shaky most of the game. It felt like his first few games as a Net, where he was not acclimated to the team yet. It was nothing to get worked up about, however it was clear that they could not rely on him this game.
The interior defense was weak and lazy all game. The Celtics took advantage of this, especially in the 1st half. Most of the Celtics points were scored inside the paint. There was a ton of miscommunication and a lack of focus as Nets players could not figure out where they should be on defense and offense. Boston’s scrappy defense and relentlessness did not help as they made the Nets uncomfortable for the whole duration of the game. This was an extremely tough first game to return to NBA action. The Celtics were hungry to get a win, especially with their best defender Marcus Smart back in the rotation after he missed some time due to a left calf strain.
Even though most of the starters were struggling with their shot, the bench stepped up. Jeff Green, who returned from his nagging injury, and Landry Shamet really stepped it up off the bench. Shamet knocked down 6 threes, on a very efficient shooting night. Most of the Brooklyn Nets squad did not play like themselves, however they showed their “Brooklyn Grit”, especially in the clutch. Their team effort and resilience led to this win in the end.
As this game was very scrappy and physical, with a lot of missed shots, turnovers, and fouls on both sides. In the midst of this chaos, we witnessed pure skill and art. Kyrie Irving was consistently a factor for the Nets’ offense, but that is an understatement for what he did in the second half. Kyrie absolutely took over in the clutch and dropped an efficient 40 piece. With every shot he took, the Nets slowly grew to a nice double digit lead, going on a 13-3 lead late in the 4th. Every bucket he made, he was being smothered by the solid Boston defense, but it just did not matter. Kyrie Irving took over with his amazing dribbling, finishing ability, and pull up 3-pointers. It was a sight to witness, and an entertaining ending to a not so perfect game.
In this game where the Nets battled Boston, it was great for them, as it prepared them for the 2nd half of the season. This matchup between the Nets and the Celtics woke up the Nets, as they need to be ready for these types of teams in the playoffs. Brooklyn is going back into the playoffs in just 2 months. This squad needs to be ready to assist their star power trio, and help integrate players returning from injuries.
Blake Griffin signed with the Nets after getting bought out by the Detroit Pistons. He joined the team Thursday night, as he gets prepared to suit up in a Nets jersey in the next coming weeks. We do not know when he will be on the court again, but we do know that he will be ready physically and mentally. The Nets have a long way to go, but they have plenty of time to get to where they want to go. This game was just another step to their final goal, a championship.
Next Game for Brooklyn
The Nets will continue their 3 game home stand Saturday night against the 15th seed Detroit Pistons. They will face Jerami Grant and his young Pistons team, who are currently struggling this season. We may even see former Piston Blake Griffin make his Brooklyn debut. Catch this matchup on YES Network at 7:00PM EST.
Kyrie Irving– 40 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 5/8 3PT, 15/23 FG in 34 minutes
James Harden– 22 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 6/16 FG in 38 minutes
Landry Shamet– 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 6/9 3PT, 6/12 FG in 32 minutes
Jayson Tatum– 31 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3/7 3PT, 13/22 FG in 35 minutes
Marcus Smart– 19 points, 4/6 FG, 8/9 FTM in 21 minutes
Daniel Theis– 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7/10 FG in 28 minutes