Sunday, November 4th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  24 responses

The Post Up: Hello Brooklyn!

Deron Williams and Brook Lopez led the Nets to their first win as Brooklyn’s team.

by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz

In 10 games last night, we saw Brooklyn get win number one, some late-game heroics, Damian Lillard match Oscar Robertson and James Harden slow down (sorta). Here’s the breakdown.

Raptors (0-2) 100 at Nets (1-0) 107
The Nets opener went more or less how you’d expect. Energy early on was incredible. The new Barclays Center was loud, and the Nets got off to a hot start offensively. However, the couldn’t stop the Raptors in the first quarter and trailed by eight going into the second quarter. They dominated from then on, though, and took an eight point lead into halftime. The Raptors flirted with a comeback a few times, but ultimately the Nets held them off.

Brook Lopez, subject of many trade rumors and criticisms about his rebounding and defense this summer, had a big game. He shot 8-of-17 from the floor and 11/15 from the line, though he only pulled in five boards. Deron Williams was solid with 19 points and 9 dimes, and Joe Johnson went for 14 in his first game with the Nets. Kyle Lowry did all he could for the Raptors, going for 28, 8 and 8, including a number of very deep threes, but it wasn’t enough.

Brooklyn is going to have defensive problems this year–that much is clear. They probably aren’t title contenders until they can clean that up, but there’s no doubt that they’ll be fun to watch this season. Unfortunately, there was one blemish on an otherwise perfect night:

Celtics (1-2) 89 at Wizards (0-2) 86
Wheeew. The Celtics let the Wizards hang in the game for way too long last night, and it nearly bit them. Boston led 83-70 with eight minutes to play, but Washington cut it to 87-86 with three minutes left. A Washington stop late in the game with Boston leading by one gave the Wizards a chance to take the lead, but a quick three-point try was off the mark. They had another prayer later, trailing by three with about a second to play, but a full court heave missed and the Celtics picked up their first win of the season.

Paul Pierce was sharp for the Cs, scoring a game-high 27 points on 22 shots. Kevin Garnett went for 15 and 6, and Rajon Rondo double-doubled with 12 points and 13 assists, and added two steals and a block. Jordan Crawford and Kevin Seraphin led the Wizards with 40 points between them, and forward Trevor Booker kicked in 11 and 9.

Following a loss at home to the Bucks, the Celtics surely wanted to make a statement last night. Despite the win, they failed to do so. They’ll need to be much better than this to be taken seriously in an Eastern Conference which is underratedly deep. So far, they’ve shown us nothing to prove that they can compete with the Heat.

Nuggets (0-3) 116 at Heat (2-1) 119
This was an absolutely wild game. It was tight all the way through, and with 14 seconds to play, Andre Iguodala knocked down a jumper to put Denver up, 116-115. But Miami answered in a big way. Ray Allen, chillin’ in the corner like he’s known to do, was fed a nice pass from LeBron, hit a three, his sixth of the night, and got fouled doing it. He drained the free throw, putting Miami up, 119-116. Danilo Gallinari’s buzzer-beater three missed, and Miami advanced to 2-1.

Last night was a perfect example of why the Heat are going to be very tough to beat this season. The Nuggets scored 116 points. Dwyane Wade and LeBron combined to go 13/29. Udonis Haslem and Norris Cole combined to play five minutes. All of this, yet they beat a really solid team. How? Well, Chris Bosh dominated with 40 points and 7 boards. Allen, the hero, chipped in 23 off the bench. LeBron was a rebound short of a triple-double. This team has so many weapons it’s truly not even fair.

For Denver, Kenneth Faried had a big game, posting 22 points and 12 boards. Iguodala finished with 22 as well, while Andre Miller knocked down 8/10 shots off the bench on his way to 17 points.

Kings (0-3) 98 at Pacers (2-1) 106
This one finished as an eight-point game, but it was much closer than that. With 49 seconds left in regulation and the Pacers leading by three, Marcus Thornton drained a game-tying three. Both teams traded misses til the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime. In OT, the Pacers led, 96-93 with 36 seconds to play, but, again, Thornton knotted the game up from downtown. Roy Hibbert missed a tip-in that would have won it for Indiana at the buzzer, and the game went into double-OT. From then on, it was all Pacers. In fact, Sacramento didn’t even score in the game’s final period.

The Kings remain winless, while the Pacers continue to play well despite Danny Granger’s injury. It’s not the same team, but they’re getting by. David West and Paul George combined for a monster 34 points and 35 rebounds. Hibbert also double-doubled, scoring 12 points and pulling down 12 boards to go along with six blocks. For the Kings, Thornton put in 26 points. DeMarcus Cousins dropped 21 of his own, but needed 27 shots to do it.

Hornets (2-1) 89 at Bulls (2-1) 82
With each team missing its best player (Anthony Davis for NO and Derrick Rose for CHI), this was a tight game. The Hornets led by six entering the fourth, and essentially maintained that lead the entire quarter. Drawing the start for Davis, Ryan Anderson had 12 points and 13 boards for the Hornets. Greivis Vasquez, off to such a strong start that I’m beginning to remember how to spell his name correctly, led the team in scoring with 18 points, and also kicked in six assists and four boards. Robin Lopez, who has been playing far better for the Hornets than he ever did for the Suns, went for 16 points and 7 rebounds.

For Chicago, Luol Deng scored a team-high 19 points. Nate Robinson had another good game off the bench, posting 15 points and 5 assists.

Blazers (2-1) 95 at Rockets (2-1) 85
Regardless of what team you pull for, everybody had to be fascinated to see how Damian Lillard and James Harden would do last night, each playing in their third game of the season. They’re both off to scorching hot starts, and faced off against each other last night. Before I breakdown their performances, I’ll dive into what was an incredible game. With 1:33 to play, the game was knotted up at 78. A Jeremy Lin three-point play was answered by a Wesley Matthews triple, re-tying the game at 81. Both teams blew opportunities before the end of regulation, and the game went into overtime.

In the extra period, Portland took over. Lillard and Nicolas Batum (six steals) both knocked down threes in the first 90 seconds, and the Rockets never got back in it.

Back to Lillard and Harden. After scoring 15 in the first half, Harden had a disappointing final 29 minutes, and finished with “just” 24 points on 8-of-24 shooting. He added 6 boards and 5 assists. The rookie Lillard outplayed him, scoring 20 points on just 15 shots to go along with 9 dimes and 6 boards. In doing so, he joined Oscar Robertson as the only players ever to post at least 20 points and 7 dimes in each of their first three games. LaMarcus Aldridge was also big for Portland, posting 27/11/6, while Omer Asik pulled down 15 boards for Houston. Both teams are looking like pleasant surprises early on.

Bobcats (1-1) 99 at Mavericks (2-1) 126
With Dirk Nowitzki sidelined with a knee injury, the Mavs will need different guys to step up every night. Last night, OJ Mayo was that guy. He dropped 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting including 7 threes. Darren Collison and Vince Carter both chipped in 18 points in the blowout, but it was the OJ Mayo show. For Charlotte, Byron Mullins and Brendan Haywood both had double-doubles. The real silver lining for the Bobcats was rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s game—he scored 13 points to go along with five boards and five steals.

Cavaliers (1-2) 102 at Bucks (2-0) 105
This game was an excellent Battle of the Backcourts, especially late in the fourth. Ultimately the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis outdid Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, but it was a great game. With 1:54 on the clock, Ellis knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Bucks up, 100-95. After a Waiters miss, Jennings canned a pair off free throws, putting Milwaukee up seven. However, Irving answered with an and-one. Twenty seconds later, he hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two. After a Jennings miss, Irving went coast-to-coast for a layup to tie the game with just a second left. The game was destined for overtime after Irving’s incredible seven straight points, but a Jennings three at the buzzer won it for the Bucks. It was an instant classic between a pair of mediocre teams.

Irving finished with 27 points and seven assists, while Waiters totaled 13 and a steal. Anderson Varejao had a big game, going for 20 and 17. Mike Dunleavy actually led the Bucks in scoring with 29 points, and added 12 boards and six dimes in a shockingly dominant game. Ellis added 23, and Jennings posted 13 points and 13 dimes.

Jazz (1-2) 100 at Spurs (3-0) 110
This was a very strange game. San Antonio led by 18 at halftime—typically a death sentence for whoever they’re facing. However, the game was tied at 79 after three quarters. The Spurs had the edge in the fourth, leading for most of it, but led just 97-94 with roughly four minutes left. From there, though, they took over behind Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. Parker (24&10) and Duncan (19&11) both had double-doubles, while Leonard chipped in 13 on 5/5 shooting. Danny Green posted a big 21.

Utah played well, getting great games out of Mo Williams (29&9) and Paul Millsap (17&10, 3 blocks and 3 steals). Against a team like San Antonio, though, playing well usually won’t cut it.

Warriors (2-1) 114 at Clippers (2-1) 110
Blake Griffin went for 19 and 11 and Chris Paul posted 27 (19/20 FT) and 10 last night. Typically, that’s the opening sentence to a recap of a Clippers win. Not this time. Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a win with 23 points, including a number of big free throws late, and Carl Landry exploded for 23 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. The Warriors have some really good offensive players, and they came through last night, upsetting the previously unbeaten (for two games, but still) Clippers.

LA had a chance to pull the game out late despite Golden State leading for most of the way, but a late missed free throw by Chris Paul sealed their fate. The Warriors won just a third of their road games last season, so this was a big W for Mark Jackson’s club.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , ,

  • elmaar

    This was a back to earth game for Harden for the most part thanks to Wes Matthews. He did a great job.
    Still I believe James Harden instead of Westbrook on OKC would be better.
    Ibaka is not even in the conversation.

  • Caboose

    Brook still can’t rebound.
    Kyrie can’t play defense.
    Duncan had a new software update.
    The Celtics look disappointing.
    So do the Nuggets.
    Jennings is looking to pass first.
    Lillard is the early ROY candidate.
    The Kings will finish with the worst record.
    Jonas looks like he’ll be around a long time.
    Cousins’ shot selection has somehow gotten worse.
    LeBron looks like he’s taking it easy.
    Vasquez is my pick for MIP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HolyBaller Dillan Leu

    That Brooklyn mascot video just made my day. Holy crap. That was so awful lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HolyBaller Dillan Leu

    That was AWFUL defense by whoever was guarding Ray Allen on that last possession. I mean he didn’t even really help on the penetration, he just swiped at the ball and gave Jesus Shuttlesworth more than enough room to knock down the money ball.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HolyBaller Dillan Leu

    My only point of disagreement is that I think the Bobcats will STILL finish with the worst record this season. Kings have too many weapons to finish last, even if their weapons do have a tendency to implode.

  • Max

    LMAO at Duncan had a new software update.
    That mascot from the Nets looks wack a f to man..

  • Max

    And BO$H! just showed you how good he can be on the offenive end.

  • RKJ92

    Ya that mascot is terrible… he looked so corny… right when I saw him the first thing that popped in my mind was “They’re mascot is the black knight?? :S” laaameeeee…

  • RKJ92

    LOL @ Duncan that was funny, what did you mean by Jonas looks like he’ll be around a long time, and what is LeBron taking easy? the Championship or MVP, or both in your opinion? I think hes taking both unless KD keeps playing like he is..

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    LeBron may coast through the regular season and still get 26, 7 and 7 a night and another MVP award. Bosh reminded everyone what he’s capable of. D-Wade is still working himself back into form.

    Brandon Jennings is off to a nice start.

    Lillard continues to impress. He looks and plays like a veteran.

    Rondo looks like he’s playing by himself sometimes. Completely different speed than the rest of his teammates. Jeff Green isn’t playing as well as I thought he would so far.
    The Kings are disappointing even with the talent they have. No direction. Why is Thomas Robinson not getting many minutes? What has Jason Thompson done that’s so impressive to the point where he has a lock on that PF spot?
    Anderson Varejao is playing like he did at his best when LeBron was there with him. Kyrie apparently needs more weapons around him because he’s giving Westbrook a run for his money with his shoot first mentality at the PG spot so far.
    Sucks hearing about Brandon Rush’s injury. So many torn ACLs in sports the past 2 years.
    Harden didn’t explode last night, but he had the kind of game that resembles an off night for a superstar level player. Omer Asik is rebounding like a mad man.

    Utah will need to trade Milsap, Jefferson, Favors or Kanter. They won’t finish the season with all of those big men on the roster still. All of them are capable of starting in the league.

  • Datkid

    Dlil may win ROY but it’d be difficult for him to turn out to be a better overall player than Anthony Davis.

    Also. Bosh can go HAM when you need him too. There’s a reason they’re the big 3 and not the big 2 and 1/2.

    I really hope that Brandon Jennings can sustain this improvement. This is the guy I’ve been hoping he’d become. we all knew he had talent, we’ve seen the flashes.

    The celtics are coasting. don’t be fooled they’ll still make a nice deep playoff run.

    The kings need a plan. You can’t just throw talent on the floor you need to make a system of some kind out of it. They’re literally the 2010 wizards west coast. seriously make some damn trades

    Yeah Harden’s a superstar. it’s official. OKC better have known something AWFUL about Harden’s body that we don’t because otherwise they should’ve just F*CKING PAID HIM and kept the most entertaining finals team in recent history together. They would literally go to the finals every year. This trade could still work out better for OKC in the long run…. but the fact of the matter is that it was unnecessary. You had literally all the talent to win a ring you need. You had more than enough money to pay it. but you didn’t. smmfh.

  • Datkid

    * in the long run. it’ll be difficult for him to be better than Davis overall in the long run.

  • Dagger

    The only thing more lame than the mascot was that intro.

  • RKJ92

    The mascot looks like a f*cking power ranger…

  • ballerforlife

    The Brooklyn chant was awesome

  • BrooklynAllDay

    Was at the game and my kids loved the new super hero mascot that Marvel Comics created for the Nets, truly phenomenal opening night, Barclays Centre is amazingly beautiful arena

  • caughtuflop

    The Barclays Centre just WOW! Finally Brooklyn is BACK! Watch out league, the Nets are goin to be the best team!

  • david engel

    I love Andre Miller’s old man game.

  • Max

    lol exactly

  • RKJ92

    It was Corey Brewer

  • Caboose

    Jonas will have a place as a starting center on lock for a good while. LeBron just isn’t playing with the tenacity he had in the Finals this past year. Idk why, maybe he’s trying to get his teammates going?

  • Datkid

    I think he’s tired. finals and olympics? Then training camp? I can understand why he’s coasting.

  • Caboose


  • BrooklyWeGoHard

    I see the Nets going deep in the playoffs. Richest owner in sports, best arena in the world,