BROOKLYN -- Brooklyn Nets basketball is back! Well, the preseason is anyway and here at NetsDaily, we couldn't be any more excited. With just 22 days until the start of the regular season, the Nets were up against the Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv, the defending Euroleague champs, in the first matchup of the year, and Lionel Hollins' first game coaching his new team in Brooklyn.
The Nets would be without the former Maccabi player, Alan Anderson due to an abdominal injury.
With so many eyes on the Nets health and roster changes, the team started the preseason off on a good note. Behind an offensive outburst, the Nets went onto to defeat Maccabi Tel Aviv, 111-94. The three big stars in the game were the three players with the biggest question marks. Brook Lopez finished with 20 points and four boards, Deron Williams had 17 points, seven assists and no turnovers, and Andrei Kirilenko with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Bojan Bogdanovic, in his first game wearing a Nets jersey, finished with eight points on 2-of-4 shooting from deep, missing his three other shots.
Overall, the Nets played well in the motion offense, with open shots and surprisingly few miscues. The Nets had only 11 turnovers and the starting five had three: Lopez had two and Bojan Bodganovic one. Williams, Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett had none.
Hollins was not satisfied.
"Everything (needs to improve)," Hollins said. "I don’t coach one side of the ball. We have to get better offensively, move up and down the court, move into our sets quicker and make better decisions. We didn’t turn over the ball defensively. We have to get better individually. We made a lot of mistakes decision making, whether we should switch or we should help. We just have to continue to get better."
The Nets and their new offensive system got off to the start they had hoped for. They worked a 12-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game, and it looked as though Maccabi would struggle defending the heavy offensive arsenal from Brooklyn.
Maccabi did struggle to defend, however, they stayed pretty close after the first quarter. The Nets led, 31-22, behind eight points and three rebounds from. All Nets starters finished with at least two points in the quarter.
Tel-Aviv jumped out to a scorching hot start to the second quarter. Within the first two minutes, they went on an 8-0 run to go down 31-30. The Nets' second unit didn't look too solid to start their season. But, from the momentchecked back into the game, the Macabbi run came to a halt. Williams and the Nets answered with a 10-3 run, regaining the upper hand in this game.
The Nets floor spacing was evident throughout the entire half. They were just 3-10 from three, but their ability to pound the ball down low was crucial. They finished the half with 19 free throw attempts, converting on 16 of them, and found a 12 point lead at the half.led the way for Brooklyn, scoring 10 points on an efficient 3-3 shooting and 4-5 from the charity stripe - An aspect of his game that needed much improvement.
Score at the half: Nets 59, Maccabi Tel Aviv 47.
To their credit, Maccabi stayed with the Nets most of the third quarter. There was no miraculous comeback, but they certainly made some noise - and so did the Maccabi Tel Aviv faithful. It was almost a home game for the visiting team, as it was clear that the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball club has an extremely strong fanbase.
Once again, the Nets floor spacing was a wonder to behold. They scored 28 points in the quarter alone, and found themselves up 88-69 heading into the fourth quarter. Lopez and Williams looked more than solid through three quarters. They combined for 29 points on 12-19 shooting. Most notably, an explosive step and confident look was apparent through DWill's play. Preseason or not, that's a very positive sign for the Nets.
The rout continued throughout the fourth quarter. Despite another solid offensive quarter from Tel Aviv, their defensive efforts just wasn't enough to spark a comeback. For Maccabi, Jeremy Pargo led the way with 27 points, six rebounds, six assists and a monster dunk over Markel Brown, perhaps a payback to Hollins, who didn't play him much in Memphis and then dumped him..
Final score: 111-94.
For Brooklyn, Lopez had five rebounds to go with his 20 points. The rebounding number may be something the big fella needs to improve on. Mirza Teletovic chipped in 13 and eight. A big part of initiating Bogdanovic into the offensive system Tuesday was his off-ball movement. When his shots are falling, he can be a serious weapon for the offense.
The Nets will travel to China for their second preseason matchup against the Sacramento Kings -- Sunday, October 12th at 1 a.m. ET
- Preseason Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, 7:30 PM - NetsDaily
- Maccabi Electra at Nets - October 7, 2014 - Game Preview, Play by Play, Scores and Recap - NBA.com
- Andrei And-one - Video - NBA.com
- Jeremy Pargo throws down a huge dunk against the Nets (Video) - Ricky O'Donnell - SB Nation
- GEICO SportsNite: Hollins on Nets’ opener (Video) - SNY Nets
- Lopez, Williams sharp in Nets' preseason opener - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Start of Everything Is a Game That Means Nothing - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Nets deny team for sale, beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in preseason opener - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Deron Williams, Brook Lopez brush off cobwebs in exhibition victory - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets GM: Team Isn’t Cutting Costs or Looking for Sale - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Nets GM Billy King responds to Paul Pierce - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Pargo reunites with former coach Hollins - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Lopez, D-Will the picture of health in return - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- 'Nervous' Bogdanovic solid in debut - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets GM: Goal is to win championship - Alex Raskin - The Record
Nets rewind: Grading first looks at healthy stars and key import - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- GM King explains why he thinks Pierce is wrong about the Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Lopez begins latest comeback as Nets romp in preseason opener - Josh Newman - SNY Nets
- Nets return to Barclays in preseason opener - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Nets Blow Out Maccabi Tel Aviv 111-94 In Preseason Warmup - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Billy King: Mikhail Prokhorov isn't selling Nets - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game