by Ryne Nelson and Franklyn Calle
It’s the first time I’ve been in the same stadium as Deron Williams since 2005. Matter of fact, the last game I watched DWill play live, he was wearing the blue and orange at the University of Illinois.
I’ve always seen him as the consummate winner. But tonight, I don’t get that feeling.
Deron clearly just wants this roller coaster season to be done.
So, as Miri Ben-Ari breaks out her violin for a, um… interesting rendition of the National Anthem, let’s see if the Nets’ leader has me fooled. If the Cavs can beat the boys from South Beach, so can the DWill-led Nets.
— Not only am I surprised that Brandan Wright is playing, he’s also in the starting lineup.
— Looks like a blowout. Three minutes and three LeBron dunks/layups… this is the way to lose real quick.
— Sasha Vujacic isn’t the correct mark for LeBron.
— The Heat quickly rack up 19 points on 9-11 shooting. The Nets have 6 points on 3-8 from the field.
— Just when you think it can’t get worse, Anthony Morrow airballs a completely wide-open J from the corner.
— LeBron is 6-6 and is getting the ball is ISO plays each time down the court. Who can guard this guy?
— DWade can’t be stopped either, he’s 4-4 with 9 points after just eight minutes in the first quarter.
— The Nets definitely don’t practice at game speed. How do I know? They don’t even run the break at game speed.
— As if wasn’t bad enough to have Sasha guarding Bron, the Nets have Mario West checking the 6-8 freight train.
— If I was blindfolded, I’d be confused about which team was the home team. The crowd cheers for the Heat. But then there’s obligatory cheers of pity when the Nets manage to score.
— The Nets are the perfect team for the Heat to beat up on. They’re a ragtag bunch that already lost mentally before tip-off.
— Outside of Bron and Wade, the Heat have no one else in any sort of offensive rhythm.
— LeBron stats the second period on the bench, maybe the Nets can gain a point or two on them now?
— Another airball by Anthony Morrow. I think he probably has more airballs than made field goals at this point.
— Brook Lopez keeping everyone from walking out of the arena. I actually can’t even say that since it seems like there might be more Heats/King James fans in the building than from the home team.
— You gotta’ feel bad for guys like Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar who’ve spent their entire careers with the Lakers and are now experiencing the other end of the game – losing.
— LBJ returns to the game with about over 6 minutes to go and gets serenaded with cheers. Funny how last time he came to Newark, fans were all over him with boos. Today is the complete opposite. You would think this is Miami.
— I knew fans would get over and forgive James at some point in his careers, but who knew it would be so quick?
— LBJ with a move that may not even have a name – a 360 one-handed lay-up after faking a behind-the back pass? — wakes the crowd up.
— Chris Bosh hits one-handed turn around with over two minutes to go. I didn’t even realize he was playing tonight until now. Quiet so far, with five points and a rebound.
— Three pointer by Sasha makes it 43-56. Nets have actually has outscored the heat 25 to 24 thus far with a minute to go. Yeah, I really thought this was something worth noting.
— King James with a fade-away runner at the buzzer for the one-millionth time in his career! And his 21st point of the game.
— 58-44, Heat on top at the half.
— You can’t find a better halftime performance than in Newark, where the action is now in the stands with a fight breaking out in the lower seating bowl of arena between two chicks. There are accurately landed punches thrown for a long minute before security finally steps in.
— Travis Outlaw fouled hard by James when driving to the basket and the crowd is not pleased. Outlaw calmly gets up a minute later and sinks to two from the line.
— Two more free throws by Outlaw on the following Nets possession. He is looking to be the aggressor on every possession after coming off the locker room.
–DWill attempts a cross on James but LBJ doesn’t fall for it, and so Williams takes a couple of dribbles back before trying, only to fail again.
— Maybe DWill did shake Bron a bit, as he misses a wide open left-handed lay-up on the following possession.
— Jumper by DWill gives Nets a 6-0 run and cuts the lead to 58-50.
— I know this is random, but Chris Bosh has to be most overpaid individual in America! Just saying.
— And right after I type that, he misses a lay-up and a free throw. But hey, what do I know.
— Lopez putting in work for NJ. Hits a lay-up off a dish from DWill. That should basically be the only offense set that the Nets should run…. And maybe Sasha on the corner when he’s on his game.
— Another side-comment – a few of the members the media and I have agreed that the food the Nets make available to the media is better than those “other guys”… and at no price at that!
— Say what you want, but the Nets could really be using Kris Humphries right about now. Probably the most underrated player in the League, if you ask me. He averages a double-double – 10 ppg and 10.4 rpg – off the bench! And yet no one talks about him.
— Some guy named Mario West just slashed through the paint for a lay-up on Wade.
— Outlaw with a steal and fast-break dunk to cut the lead to seven at 74-67.
— The Nets outscored the Heat 25-19 in the third and head to the fourth down by only eight, 77-69.
— Statistically speaking, the Nets aren’t out of it.
— Wade takes control early. He’s still a killer.
— The communication on the court is terrible. What happened to talking?
— The lead has changed 0 times. The score has been tied 0 times. LeBron is in to solidify the statistic.
— Frankie and I are betting on when Avery will sit DWill and Brook. It’s a 7-point game with eight minutes to go.
— Chris Bosh may be the most overpaid person in America, but how many southpaws are better than he is right now? Does being a lefty matter all THAT much?
— Mario West’s ugly release needs accuracy. His shot’s offensive, but in only in a bad way.
— Avery Johnson is playing Deron at the 2 a lot. Let’s hope that’s out of necessity.
— Jordan Farmar lets the ball roll past half court before touching the ball. Can’t wait ‘til it’s cool to dribble upcourt again.
— To give you a picture of what’s going on, LeBron is going to the line. Nets players are throwing bricks.
— Farmar was thisclose to putting LBJ on every highlight reel. A weak Farms crossover nearly toppled the King.
— To fans try to start an “M-V-P” chant while another fan says, “LeBron, you ain’t s**t. You’re never going to get a ring.” This season in a nutshell.
— It’s 101-88 with 1:40 remaining. Everyone in the building knows what time it is. Unfortunately for the media, it’s still 1:40 remaining.
— Players just letting this run out… or not. DWill is fouled on a potential three-point field goal. Of course, the refs review to see if he gets two or three freebies. Not like it’s a 16-point game or anything.
— Mario Chalmers is fouled on an 18-foot jump shot attempt with 4.7 seconds remaining. There is no mercy.
— Actually there is. 108-94, Heat.