The last game of the season was one to remember for the Long Island Nets. Undermanned with only eight players available, they put it all on the line one last time to defeat the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers affiliate, 116-107.
As Jeremiah Martin said, “I know this could be my last time playing with a lot of those guys, so we just went out there and had fun with them.”
Indeed, post-game, word came from Brooklyn that rookie Reggie Perry is headed back to the big team, his time in the Orlando “bubble” largely a success as he averaged 18.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 29 minutes per game.
Martin, who played with the Nets last season, had a career game, scoring 36 points on 16-of-23 shooting, including 3-of-5 from behind the three point arc. He was going off from all over the floor: taking the ball to the rim as he has been all year, hitting crafty shots in the midrange, and even drilling from deep, a weakness he corrected in the last several games of the 15-game schedule. Post-game, Martin was asked if he he knew he could perform like this:
“Most definitely. I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself, obviously shooting the ball at a higher clip than I wanted to and that I worked on, and it’s just part of the game,” Martin told NetsDaily. “I know I can score, I know I can play both ends of the court. So I just go with the flow, how the game [is] going, if I’m scoring or getting everyone involved.”
How did Martin feel about the season as a whole. Long Island finished 7-8 but ultimately missed out on a spot in the postseason.
“I feel like we did good. The team played good as a whole, it’s only 15 games in a short amount of time so it’s hard to get and get that perfect chemistry that you want, compared to a 50-game season. I still feel like we did good, we had a lot of young guys and a mostly young team, it just was fun.
Here are his game highlights:
Martin wasn’t the only standout star. Perry, who’s officially on a two-way, had yet another excellent performance, with 24 points and 11 rebounds. He’ll eventually rejoin the team after the All-Star break after being transferred to Brooklyn...
The Brooklyn Nets have transferred two-way forward Reggie Perry to Brooklyn from the Long Island Nets.— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) March 6, 2021
I asked coach Bret Brielmaier about Perry’s play this season:
“It felt like 24 and 10 was just him every single game,” said the Nets former assistant. “That steadiness, his presence on the floor is felt on both ends. I think everyone can see his development and growth: learning to play harder for longer stretches, learning about what it takes to be a pro at this level. Really incredible what he was able to do here and I think you see the potential that young man has.”
Here are Perry’s game highlights...
C.J. (Massinburg) and B.J. (Johnson) each had 20+ point outings of their own, scoring 21 and 23 points respectively. Down three rotation players — Kaiser Gates, Tariq Owens, Elie Okobo — the starters had to carry a lot of weight for Long Island, but it ultimately resulted in a win.
The game was close all afternoon, with the Charge seemingly making a comeback every time the Nets would pull away into double-digit territory. In fact, Canton even built a six-point advantage after a 19-4 run early in the fourth quarter, reminiscent of Long Island’s last game against the Memphis Hustle.
The starters checked in and quickly made work of Canton’s lead, led by Martin. By the end of the fourth, they had extended the advantage to double digits to come out on top in their final game in the G League “bubble.”
With the season over, Brielmaier reflected on the year from Long Island:
“Incredible group, both on and off the floor. I think it’s just a testament of what the Brooklyn organization, Long Island organization, is all about. Character guys, [who] play the right way, and want to continue to work on their craft and develop and get better. I think we saw that from every guy on the roster this season.
”I couldn’t enjoy this experience any more. The guys we got to coach, the staff that was so integral to helping me through my first season as a head coach, couldn’t do it without them. You know, very thankful to the Nets organization for allowing me this experience.”
As for the Charge, Ty-Shon Alexander led the team in scoring with 30 points. Borderick Thomas added 25 of his own. Alexander, a Cavs two-way, tallied the first 30-point game of his career, including 11 in the first quarter and seven threes in 32 minutes of action. Thomas finished the day with 25 points, going 10-for-21 from the floor, while veteran Levi Randolph rounded out the double-digit scorers with 15 points in 30 minutes.
- Game Report: Long Island Nets 116, Canton Charge 109 (with Video) - G League
- Game Highlights: Long Island Nets 116, Canton Charge 109 (Video) - G League