Nets vs Raptors – Momentary Relief, Not Salvation

Kevin Garnett

The Brooklyn Nets are still an expensive, yet pretty bad basketball team, with Jason Kidd not really doing a great job in his attempt to lead them. But there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for them, as their 102-100 win over the Toronto Raptors showed, suggesting that even without their two best players, there’s still hope to create a foundation that will eventually get them into the playoffs.

It’s hard to say what it is about the Brooklyn Nets that’s been so bad, but the numbers suggest they simply can’t adjust to changes at half time. Maybe it’s some bad coaching from Jason Kidd, who knows how to draw up a good gameplan but still isn’t experienced enough to make the right kind of changes at half time. Whatever it is, once again, the Nets allowed a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter disappear, almost losing the game. Rudy Gay decided to pass on the final shot to Amir Johnson, missing from the corner, and the Nets were saved.

Shaun Livingston is still a huge disappointment, something that will follow him his entire career. He can’t even fill half the size of the shoes left by the injured Deron Williams, but he did make one-of-two from the line to give the Nets that final win. He finished with 5 points and 7 assists, but it’s clear the team needs someone better handling the offense. Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson would be good answers, but the two haven’t been able to get it done so far this season.

Kevin Garnett, being relevant at the moment solely thanks to a headphones commercial he’s on (and a damn good one) combined with Paul Pierce for the former Celtics’ duo best game of the season, scoring 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Andray Blatche, playing at center, had his best game of the season with 24 points and 5 rebounds while Joe Johnson added 21, but Garentt continues to look awkward at the power forward position, where he’s no longer effective enough to be worthy starter.

Luckily for the Nets, for most of the game, the Raptors were the unintelligent team they usually are. DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, followed by Kyle Lowry with 24, but that was it. Rudy Gay had one of his worst games this year, scoring only 9 points on 3-for-12 from the field. His huge three pointer with 23.7 seconds left in the game almost erased all the mistakes he made throughout the game, but the Raptors continue to look like a dysfunctional version of the Oklahoma City Thunder, trying to pull off the same non-gameplan with a lot less talent.

Is this the game that pulls the Nets out of the funk? Probably not. Without Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and other injuries, they’re old and a little bit short when it comes to their roster. Jason Kidd is learning on the fly, and will continue to make mistakes that are costing his team daily. Confidence might be building thanks to this win, but it’s more due to the quality of the opponent than the Nets actually finding the right way.

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