As Shaun Fein said after Thursday’s loss, Sunday’s game against the Raptors 905 was a must-win game for his team. In the end, Fein and the Nets picked up the huge win. With the win, the Nets improved to 17-21 on the season and 8-12 at home. Long Island finished with six of their 10 active players in double-figures.
Jeremiah Martin, the Brooklyn two-way, led the Nets, finishing with a game-high 27 points, five rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 37 minutes of play, starting at the point. Fein spoke about the Memphis product’s aggressiveness in the win and credits his offensive play for the win.
Highlights from yesterday’s top performer, Jeremiah Martin, where he put up 27pts|5reb|5ast in our win over the 905 pic.twitter.com/cRsJLZPWJ1— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) March 2, 2020
“He was aggressive,” Fein said. “He was aggressive trying to get to the rim and taking his man off the dribble and getting to the rim. When the defense collapses, I want him to see that and try to hit the guys that are open along the three point line. Defensively, he was good as well.”
The Nets signed Martin to a two-year two way contract back in January. On Sunday, Long Island also unveiled a short feature on Martin...
“It takes heart...” catching up with 2-Way Player Jeremiah Martin— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) March 2, 2020
His dream, like many players, is to get to the NBA. Hear how Jeremiah plans to achieve that dream with defense and an improved 3pt shot pic.twitter.com/iF929njKM1
The theme of the game could have been revenge. The two teams biggest contributor had been on the other side of the court early in the season.
Justin Anderson, who played with the Raptors until he was called up by the Nets, finished the win with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 37 minutes of play as a starter. He shot 6-of-9 from the field and went 2-of-3 from deep.
Following the win, Anderson credited the Raptors organization for its professionalism. He said did not view the matchup as a revenge game and he still has valuable relationships with the organization.
“Those guys and that organization are high class,” Anderson said. “So is this organization [Nets]. For me, I just wanted to go out there, compete, and try to win. We knew it was not going to be easy. They have been playing at a very high level. All the other stuff did not matter. That group treated me very well. I still have very close friends on that team as well as the coaching staff. It was a really good competitive game and glad we came out on the winning side.”
There is one common goal for this Nets team and that is to make the playoffs. Anderson spoke about how important this game was to the Nets and how the team is ready to put themselves in the best position to make the playoffs.
“We are trying to make a playoff push,” Anderson said. “We can possibly see them in the playoffs but it felt good to go out there and get this win. This is one we had circled as a team. We kinda looked ahead a little bit before the Erie game because we knew that in the conference standings, they are ahead of us but we are chasing them. Not just them but a few other teams. We want to put ourselves in the best position to get into the playoffs.”
On the Raptors 905 side, Henry Ellenson, the former Nets two-way stretch 5 made his return to the Coliseum since being waived and traded in late January up north. Fein spoke about how his former player and the strategy on limiting his shooting opportunities.
“Just tried to limit his three-point shots,” Fein said following the win. “The open shots. I thought we did a pretty good job and he did get loose for ones and thankful he missed but he is a good player. He is shooting at 48 percent from three since he got to Toronto so he has been on a tear. I wish him the best for the rest of the season.”
Ellenson finished the loss scoring 17 points, on 4-of-11 shooting overall and 1-of-8 from deep.
Dzanan Musa had a solid performance in the win, displaying his three-ball. Musa recorded 18 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists in 36 minutes of play. He shot 6-of-16 overall but went 4-of-6 from deep in the win.
As a team, Long Island capped off the win shooting 43-of-89 (43 percent) overall and went 12-of-33 (36 percent) from deep. The team coughed up 18 turnovers in the win.
Fein and the Nets started Martin, Musa, Anderson, Devin Cannady, and Jonathan Kasibabu.
After a highly contested first quarter, the Nets began to pull away in the second. Long Island outscored the Raptors 26-9 with 4:32 remaining in the first half. Despite the strong start, the Raptors 905 closed out the quarter with good play on both ends of the floor, especially their deep shooting. The Raptors 905 ended the half on a 16-9 run, heading into the locker room with a 13 point deficit.
At the half, Long Island led the Raptors 905, 65-52. The Nets had three players at the half in double figures.
Anderson led the team with a game-high 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes. Musa and Martin both tallied 10 points a piece at the half.
As a team, Long Island ended the first half shooting 24-of-48 (50 percent) overall and went 7-of-16 (43 percent) from deep. The Nets coughed up eight first half turnovers.
Following a strong second quarter by the Nets, their play did not fully translate over to the third. Long Island struggled to make consistent shots while the 905 maintained a solid rhythm throughout the third quarter. The Nets were outscored 32-19 in the third and headed to the fourth quarter all tied up at 84.
The game came down to the final minute but Long Island entered the final 60 seconds of play with a 10 point lead. In the end, Long Island capitalized and defeated the Raptors 905.
Long Island return back to action Tuesday, March 4 when they travel to Erie to face to Erie Bayhawks followed by a return to the Coliseum on Wednesday, March 5 to host the Delaware Blue Coats.