"The journey begins," Ian Eagle noted as the new-look Brooklyn Nets tipped off the 2013 NBA season tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. We finally got a chance to see the starting five suit up alongside each other, and boy was it a sight -- at least early on.
Over the first five minutes of the game you would have thought that the Nets were going to run away with this one, but things took a mediocre turn, and Brooklyn struggled through a tough third quarter, allowing Cleveland to build enough momentum and, eventually, knocking off the Nets in their season opener, 98-94.
One of the "new" Nets, Paul Pierce, got off to a hot start, scoring the team's first six points. You could see early on how having five offensive options on the floor at the same time would work in the Nets favor. Early floor spacing put the Nets up by double-digits within the first 3-plus minutes of the game.
Kyrie Irving got into early foul trouble, picking up two quick ones in the first and sending him to the bench just four minutes into the game, but the Cavs made a run when the starters went to the bench at the 5-minute mark and actually took the lead at the end of the first quarter.
Joe Prunty, who was filling in for Jason Kidd, opted to run out the Brook Lopez-Andray Blatche big-man combo to speak the offense, something P.J. Carlesimo wasn't too fond of doing. It helped, somewhat, but while the Nets were trying to find an offensive spark, they failed to stop the Cavs on the defensive side of the ball. And that hot start turned into a 49-48 deficit.
The third quarter was just filled with poor defensive sets, too many turnovers and offensive struggles from the Nets' second unit. You just didn't see any rhythm, and it almost was too typical of 2012-13 Nets basketball. They were outscored 33-20 in the third.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, the bench decided to show up, starting a 13-2 run, capped off by Jason Terry hitting back-to-back threes. The game was tied late in the fourth, even after it seemed like the Nets couldn't get anything to "go their way." Kyrie Irving, though, did some magical things, dribbling into and the out of a double, almost losing the ball, before hitting Varejao for a "I can't believe he made that" jumper to put the Cavs ahead by two
In the end, the Nets fell to the Cavs by a final score of 98-94.
Brook Lopez was very good, finishing with a team-high 21 points five rebounds and four blocks, while Deron Williams had his moments, playing 22 minutes and scoring seven points with nine dimes. Joe Johnson finished with 13 points, Pierce had 17.
Andrew Bynum played eight minutes, finishing with three points, three rebounds and two blocks. Irving finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.
One quick note, Kevin Garnett passed Reggie Miller for 14th all-time in points score. Congrats to Mr. Garnett.
For more on the Cavs, see: Fear The Sword
- Nets at Cavaliers - October 30, 2013 - Box Score - NBA.com
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:00 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Cavs - NetsDaily
- Revamped Nets fall in season opener - AP
- Cavs Clean Up (Video) - NBA.com
- Bynum's Big Block (Video) - NBA.com
- Bynum's First Cavs Basket (Video) - NBA.com
- Oop to Double T (Video) - NBA.com
- Prunty discusses Nets 98-94 loss to Cavs (Video) - YES Network
- Johnson discusses dissapointing loss to Cavs (Video) - YES Network
- Terry discusses team's defense after loss to Cavs (Video) - YES Network
- Pierce discusses learning proccess after loss to Cavs (Video) - YES Network
- Rebuilt Nets Take a Tumble in Their Opener - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Rapid Reaction: Cavs 98, Nets 94 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Pierce wants a bite of the Big Apple - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- D-Will sits entire fourth due to minutes limit - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Nets preach patience after Cavs loss - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
Starting five: Nets defense can't finish - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- New-look Nets fall to Cavs in opener - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Unknown assistant takes Nets helm as Kidd serves ban - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Ex-Celtics focused on ‘long haul’ in Brooklyn - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Williams runs out of time in Nets opener - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- ‘Patience’ required as Garnett, others get comfortable - Mike Vaccaro - New York Post
- Star-studded new-look Brooklyn Nets fall to Cavs in season opener, Deron Williams plays just 21 minutes - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Deron Williams plays limited minutes, which huts Brooklyn Nets in opener - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Kevin Garnett and Nets hit with reality check in loss to Cleveland Cavaliers - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- LeBron James done talking Brooklyn Nets after loss to Philadelphia 76ers - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Nets lose their season opener to Cavaliers in Cleveland - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Joe Prunty serves as coach in Jason Kidd's absence, not Lawrence Frank - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets begin 2013 campaign with loss in Cleveland - Mark Osborne - Metro
- Unfortunate Start: Cavaliers 98, Nets 94 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets sputter in season-opening loss to Cavaliers - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Fan Tweets & Pix: A Tale of Joy and Rage - RickBarry1971 - The Brooklyn Game
- Williams' injury affirms Net concerns - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Flashes of brilliance in season opener bode well for Cavaliers’ future - Marla Ridenour - Akron Beacon - Journal
- Cavaliers 98, Nets 94: Andrew Bynum makes debut, Anderson Varejao makes big shot in opening night win - Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon-Journal
- Cavaliers notebook: Owner Dan Gilbert believes team is positioned to keep Kyrie Irving in Cleveland for his entire career Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon-Journal
- Cavs 98, Nets 94; final thoughts Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon-Journal
- Cavs 98, Nets 94; final thoughts on Andrew Bynum Jason Lloyd - Akron Beacon-Journal
- A brief appearance by Andrew Bynum highlights Cleveland Cavaliers' 98-94 victory over Brooklyn Nets - Mary Schmitt-Boyer - Cleveland Plain-Dealer
- Cleveland Cavaliers get gritty, grimy, ugly in their opening victory over Brooklyn - Terry Pluto - Cleveland Plain-Dealer
- Cavs fans share excitement after winning home game opener - Cleveland Plain-Dealer
- Cavaliers 98, Nets 94: Bynum play as Cavs open season with win - Bob Finnan - Lorain Morning Journal