When you're in the postseason, there's no room for moral victories. If this were the regular season, playing two tight road games against a top five team in the league would be impressive. Now? You're just coming home down 2-0 to a frustrated fanbase and fighting to save your season.
Where to follow the game
TNT has got you covered on the national side of things while the YES Network crew has got you locally. WFAN 101.9 FM is airing the oh so important Yankees-Mets game so you can listen on WCBS 880 AM. Tip is after 3 PM.
Hand in hand
It's a busy NBA Saturday, so here's the rest of the action going on today:
Chicago at Milwaukee, Game 3- 5:30 PM on TNT
Golden State at New Orleans, Game 4 - 8 PM on ESPN
Memphis at Portland, Game 4 - 10:30 on TNT
Deron Williams hurt his left hand during the game, but he'll be out there.
Thabo Sefolosha will not be playing. Send your complaints to the NYPD.
Here are the stats from the series:
Offensive Rebounding Rate
Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage
In off the court news, the Hawks ownership situation appears to be settled. The sale isn't official yet, but once it is, one of the new owners will be Grant Hill. It's always great to see former players getting involved in the management aspect of the game.
In figurative and literal ways, this is Game Seven for the Nets. This is the seventh meeting of the season between the teams and the Hawks have won all six so far. More importantly, no team in NBA history has come from behind 3-0 to win a series. Making it to a Game Six after losing the first three has only happened 11 times in NBA history and the last teams to do it were the 2013 Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics.
Turnovers have been the story of this series. Atlanta has consistently been one of the best at forcing turnovers in the league, and got Brooklyn to cough it up 17 more times on Wednesday. Making this worse for the Nets was that they held ATL to only 38.9 percent shooting from the field and won the rebounding battle. Unforced errors that lead to easy transition baskets are a killer for any team, especially one that needs everything to go right in order to come away with a win.
If you've been following the league for any amount of time over the past three years, then you know that Deron Williams has been facing criticism from all angles. He had a terrible game on Wednesday, making only one of his seven shot attempts. With the Nets down two with a chance to tie, this is what happened:
Just one of those nights I suppose. Assuming Williams' struggles continue, Jarrett Jack will see even more time on the court. Like Williams, Jack has faced tons of criticism this season. However, it hasn't carried over to the postseason and Jack was fantastic throughout Game Two. For the Nets to get back into this series, they need to slow down Jeff Teague. Teague has managed to get to the rim a bunch but is only shooting 33 percent inside of the restricted area. The Nets have gone under screens against Teague and Dennis Schroder to some success, and they should look to continue that today. Preventing them from getting to the rim or finding open jump shooters will help stifle Atlanta's offense.
After Game One, Lionel Hollins stated that he wanted to make sure Brook Lopez got more shot attempts after he only took seven in the opener. The Nets got him the ball more and Lopez scored a game high 20 points on 15 field goal attempts. Even with those increased shot attempts, the Hawks made sure to make it incredibly difficult for the Nets to get Lopez the ball in the low post. With Williams a non-factor, the Hawks defenders can drift away from him and make receiving the ball more challenging for Lopez. Al Horford is still dealing with a bad hand, but he'll definitely be be out there. Pero Antic will be there as well and while his numbers aren't flashy, he does contribute and is a big body the Hawks can throw at Lopez to make his life difficult.
Throughout the year, Markel Brown would start and the combination of Bojan Bogdanovic and Alan Anderson would play the rest of the game in Brown's place. Bogdanovic got the start and Brown never saw the court. Barring anything unforeseen, that will continue here. These two will have to make it more difficult for Kyle Korver on both sides of the ball. Korver has been the best shooter on the court this series and has made eight three pointers so far. Communication will be essential for the Nets defense against Korver and the Hawks. You don't want to focus so much attention on Atlanta's perimeter shooters while leaving someone all alone for an uncontested layup that decides the game.
Player to watch: Paul Millsap
Millsap's shoulder has been acting up, but he's fighting through it. He had a fantastic game on Wednesday, scoring 19 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and making all four of his three pointers. Millsap presents a lot of difficulty for the Nets. He can score inside, draw opposing forwards out to the perimeter with his shooting and can bang on the glass. Atlanta has been outworked on the glass in the two games and will need more from Millsap on that end.
For the first time since joining the Nets, Thaddeus Young had a terrible game. He only scored two points, grabbed five rebounds and at times appeared to be lost in his 23 minutes on the court. In fact, he even apologized to his teammates for his play on Wednesday. Mirza Teletovic is back, but he played an ineffective 3:58 and looked rusty. Should this series become extended, Mirza's game should begin to look better. If Young and Mirza are playing well, they can keep up Brooklyn's lead on the glass and most importantly, take a little pressure off of Lopez on the inside.
From the Vault
It was only last year that the Nets came home down 2-0. Here's how they did against the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat.
And who gets a t-shirt? YOU get a t-shirt if you show up this afternoon.
The Nets held a t-shirt design contest and the two winners got to see their work plastered over 17,732 seats at Barclays. Christopher Mineses design gets attention today. Bryan Villa gets his on the same seats Monday.
Congrats to both!
- Brooklyn Nets Playoff Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Atlanta Hawks Playoff Game Notes - Atlanta Hawks
- Hawks-Nets Preview - Taylor Bechtold - STATS LLC
- Hey New York, Show Some Love for the Brooklyn Nets - Jason Gay - Wall Street Journal
- Turnovers Have Put Nets in a 2-0 Hole in Hawks Series - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Will Tony Ressler’s Bet on Atlanta Hawks Be a Slam Dunk or Air Ball? - Shasha Dai - Wall Street Journal
- Could this be the end of the Nets’ Big 3? - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets facing long odds of overcoming 0-2 deficit vs. Hawks - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets' keys to Game 3 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- East playoffs mini-movie week 1 (Video) - ESPN
- Brooklyn Nets Turnovers Killing Chances Vs. Atlanta Hawks - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Should Brooklyn Nets start Jarrett Jack over Deron Williams? - Allen Robertson - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets Playoff T-Shirts In Barclays Center For Game 3 (PHOTO) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Hawks in Brooklyn knowing they need to think sweep, not split - Jeff Schultz - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Hawks understand style points don’t matter in playoffs - Jeff Schultz - Atlanta Journal-Constitution