Almost, but not quite. The Brooklyn Nets were on the verge of getting blown out, but they fought back and made it a competitive game against the top seeded Atlanta Hawks on Sunday evening. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't make it all the way back and fell short by seven points.
Where to follow the game
It's baseball season so Alex Rodriguez's chase for history takes priority on YES Network and WFAN 101.9 FM. To catch the Nets, you can go to either My9 or NBATV on television and WCBS 880 AM on radio. Tip off is after 7 PM.
Hand in hand
Here are the other games taking place tonight, their start times and the channels you can watch them on:
Portland at Memphis (Grizzlies lead 1-0) - 8 PM on TNT
San Antonio at Los Angeles (Clippers lead 1-0) 10:30 PM on TNT
Mirza Teletovic isn't back yet, but he's inching closer to returning by the day. He is listed as probable for this game.
Here are the numbers from Game One:
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
Game One featured a lot of trends carry over from the regular season. For the Hawks, they were third in the league at forcing turnovers and got Brooklyn to cough it up 17 times. The Hawks have been a poor rebounding team this season, so playing good team defense and forcing the Nets into mistakes will be key for them in going up 2-0.
For the Nets, two trends carried over from the regular season. He's gotten knocked for his lack of rebounding prowess over the years, but Brook Lopez has done a great job of grabbing contested rebounds. He was twelfth in the league at grabbing those rebounds and nine of his 14 boards on Sunday were of the contested variety. Another trend that continued from the regular season was the lack of involvement for Brook on offense. The big guy scored 17 points, but only got seven field goal attempts in his 35 minutes of game time. Worse yet, there weren't many plays run specifically for Lopez. Credit should go to the Hawks defense, so the Nets are going to need to think of ways to counteract ATL. Lopez's lack of shot attempts didn't sit well with Isiah Thomas, who said:
"Watching the game as a point guard, I am seriously frustrated that you've got bigs underneath the basket with a man sealed on their back and you are reluctant to throw them the basketball."
"He had 14 points, 17 rebounds, six for seven! That ball should have been inside to him a lot more tonight. "
With this in mind, let's take an early trip to the Vault. Here's Zeke back in 1998 speaking about how he would have handled things if he was on the court and his big man wasn't getting the ball:
"In that seventh game, when (John) Starks was shooting the ball like that (2 for 16), I would have said, `You're not shooting anymore; get the ball to (Patrick) Ewing.' And if he couldn't throw it down there, I would have.
Heh. Lionel Hollins mentioned that the Nets are going to work more to get Lopez the ball inside, and with Horford not at 100 percent, this could be the night Lopez has a huge game.
Defending Kyle Korver is always a difficult task. Although the Hawks ended up shooting 33 percent from three point range, Korver made five out of their ten three pointers. He isn't someone that you give the ball to and expect to get his own shots off the dribble, but he causes so much trouble for a defense and his great shooting ability creates open opportunities for his teammates. Throughout the second half of the season, Markel Brown has started games but not seen minutes afterwards. Brown only played 5:48 in Game One and most of the minutes went to the combination of Jarrett Jack and Bojan Bogdanovic. That figures to continue here and if the Nets want to get some better looks for Lopez, they're gonna need Bogdanovic to improve upon his Game One performance. Bogdanovic only made two shots from the field and had some trouble on defense.
There's a good chance the Atlanta crowd will beat up on Joe Johnson again. Johnson got booed every time he touched the ball on his way to a 6-17 performance against his former club. Brooklyn needs everything to go their way in order to win this series, and if Johnson isn't scoring, the challenge becomes even more daunting.
Player to watch: Jeff Teague
Playoff Teague was in fine form on Sunday. Teague scored 17 points and made key plays down the stretch to keep the Nets at bay. When he's on his game, he can break down a defense, get to the rim for a layup + draw fouls on the opponent's big men, or find his sharpshooting teammates on the perimeter should someone help on his drives. Teague made 36 percent of his jump shots throughout the regular season, so the strategy of the Nets defenders should focus on going under screens, not providing help when he drives and daring him to shoot jumpers. You'd rather Teague shoot from 18-20 feet than help and leave Korver wide open.
Deron Williams will need to play better tonight. Williams missed a shot late that would've cut the deficit down to two points and scored 13 points overall. For the past two months, Williams has worked to set his teammates up while he tries to find his shot. When Williams and Teague head to the bench, Dennis Schroder and Jarrett Jack will be in charge of running their teams' respective offenses. Schroder is similar to Teague in that he can break down defenses and get to the basket a bunch. And like Teague, the Nets need to cut off his driving lanes and goad him into taking jump shots. As for Jack, he scored 13 points but committed a game high five turnovers. Brooklyn can't afford to make too many errors and the more turnovers they commit, the more Atlanta can get out in transition and get easy buckets.
From the Vault
If you're wondering why Hawks fans still boo Joe Johnson, you can probably head back to the 2010 series vs. the Orlando Magic.
- Brooklyn Nets Playoff Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Atlanta Hawks Playoff Game Notes - Atlanta Hawks
- Hawks - Nets Preview - Paul Newberry - AP
- Nets' Teletovic probable for Game 2 against Hawks - Amy Jinkner-Lloyd - AP
- Nets need to steal one in Atlanta - John Torenli - Brooklyn Daily Eagle
- NBA playoffs: Nets’ keys to Game 2 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Mirza Teletovic probable - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- The Game 2 lineup tweak the Nets may use to spark offense - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets’ Teletovic: From medical horror to ‘probable’ in 3 months - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets Set to Welcome Mirza Teletovic to Playoffs - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Brooklyn Nets say Mirza Teletovic 'probable' for Game 2 vs. Hawks - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Al Horford of Atlanta Hawks says he's OK to play in Game 2 - ESPN
- Nets' Mirza Teletovic upgraded to probable, might play in Game 2 against Hawks - Rod Boone - Newsday
4 Things Brooklyn Nets Must Improve In Game 2 Vs. Hawks - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- After Two Days of Practice, Nets Confident For Game 2 - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets
- Horford on Game 2: ‘I’m playing’ - Chris Vivlamore - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Hawks’ Carroll making former coaches regret decision not to. - - Chris Vivlamore - Atlanta Journal-Constitution