I was at the game last night and just wanted to post my thoughts.
First, my thoughts on the Nets' players' performance.
Deron Williams was solid if unspectacular. He is unbelievable at finding players in a position to score, even if it doesn't look that obvious. Harris, while he was improving as a passer, did not get his players NEARLY as many open looks as D-Will does. He has an almost uncanny ability to find the open man. He knocked down four threes, including one HUGE one at the end, and proved that he can be a clutch closer. Also, the team really suffered without him in the late-first quarter, which shows how important he is in games against good teams.
Anthony Morrow missed some open shots, but he made enough to still remain a positive. Morrow is a great role player who can put up points in bunches, even if he is a little one dimensional.
Sasha Vujacic didn't really do anything. He sat on the bench for most of the game.
Travis Outlaw was actually quite solid. He knocked down some mid-range jumpshots and was actually a positive to the Nets' cause. Outlaw, while still not worth even close to seven million (!!!) dollars per season, can be a solid role player long term if he knows his role and stays within himself.
Kris Humphries continues to amaze me. Always does the dirty work and has drastically improved his shot selection. Last year he was something of a chucker, throwing up midrange jumpshots whenever possible. Now, while still shooting that shot, he has been more selective about it and actually made it a pretty good percentage of the time. Hump has turned into a walking double-double, and he should be a top priority this offseason.
Brook Lopez wasn't great, but he still put up 20 points. That shows how much he has improved. The real great players are the ones who can play below their usual standards and still help their team. While Brook is not there quite yet, he is getting closer to being a key long-term player for the Nets. He actually didn't get that many touches, but when he did, he knew what to do with them and did a good job as usual of putting the ball in the net. He very well could be the best offensive center in the NBA.
Jordan Farmar was not great last night, I still think he is one of the best backup PGs in the league.
Sundiata Gaines really impresses me. What really impresses me most about him is his fearlessness. He is completely unafraid of taking the ball at the rim and going against bigger defenders and taking contact. He also hit the shot that I believe was the turning point in the game, the 3 ball at the buzzer in the 3rd quarter. The place was going nuts, and that's when I realized that the Nets could actually win that game.
Johan Petro is legitimately the worst player in the NBA. There is literally nothing he can do in even an average way. His contract continues to baffle me. I mean, he took a five foot hook shot and airballed it!! DIDN'T EVEN TOUCH THE RIM!! I can do better than that, and I'm 5'9"!!
As a team, this was the best defensive performance I have seen the Nets put on in a while. Rajon Rondo was completely befuddled and Pierce was also a nonfactor. Garnett and Allen had to earn their points. Big Baby was hitting from the outside, nothing we could do about that, just had to tip your cap. But the main thing is, Boston had to earn their points, which is always a huge plus.
Avery Johnson did a good job last night. He did a good job rolling with Outlaw over Sasha. He did a good job leaving Sundiata in when he had the momentum. He recognized when it was time to put Brook and Deron back in in the fourth quarter. Solid job by Avery.
Great, great team performance and really made me look forward to more winning. This game made me proud to be a Net fan again.
Second, thoughts on the experience.
The guy who does the introductions and talks during the timeout entertainment is awful. I think his name is Marco G, and he is atrocious. The pregame introductions were worse than the ones at my high school.
However, the timeout entertainment itself was great. The halftime dunk show and the senior dance team were great. They always had something keeping the crowd going during breaks in the action, which is great. It was hard to find a time to go to the bathroom.
The guy who announces the players who make the shots, AKA the "jam guy", is also nothing special. When someone drills a shot, I wanna hear "SUNNNNNNDIAATTTAA GAINNNEEESSS FOOOOOOOOR THREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!", not "Three point goal, Sundiata Gaines."
The arena is very clean and nice looking. Not much traffic or parking issues for me personally. Overall, it was a good experience. It was also a GREAT feeling to see all that Green headed for the exits after Deron's DAGGER.