By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)
Wednesday, November 13th 2013
Brooklyn Nets vs. Sacramento Kings
The Brooklyn Nets opened up their west coast road trip with a 86-107 loss to the Sacramento Kings. This snapped the Kings 5 game losing streak.
Brook Lopez was the high man for the Nets with 16 points. Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston were next at 13 a piece.
The Kings won in spite of DeMarcus Cousins being in foul trouble the entire game; playing only 22 minutes total. Cousins still managed to score 15 points and grab 9 rebounds. Greivis Vasquez had his best game as a King against the Nets, scoring 17 and had 12 assists. Marcus Thornton came off the bench for the first time this season for the Kings and put in 24 points.
- Shaun Livingston continued to impress off the bench. 13 points on 5-6 shooting from the field and led the Nets on a mini-run to cut the Kings lead to 9 in the 2nd half. He continues to prove that he is solid back-up behind Deron.
- Brook Lopez and his shot blocking ability was really on display in this game. Sort of due to the fact that the Kings guards were in the paint so much, but Lopez managed to block 5 shots including one on Cousins early. Going into the season, I thought Garnett and Lopez would need to protect the paint extremely well due to the poor perimeter defenders the Nets had and at least Lopez is proving he can.
- The Nets defense. Aside from Lopez and his ability to block shots, there was nothing positive to take from the defensive side of the ball. Deron, Joe, and Pierce struggled all night to keep the Kings perimeter players in front of them. The Kings were penetrating the paint from the perimeter all night.
This came with the inability to defend against picks. Whether it was a pick and roll or a pick and pop, the Nets looked like they had never seen it before and couldn’t defend it at all. Vasquez would either get a wide open lane to the basket or a wide open Thompson jump shot on the pop. The Nets adjusted by going so under the pick with Thornton handling it, that he had wide open mid range jump shots every time, which contributed to his big night off the bench. It was poorly played almost every time the Kings ran it against the Nets and it is something Jason Kidd will need to address.
- Going into this matchup, Mike Malone the Kings head coach, decided to start rookie Ben McLemore at the shooting guard position. This was ideal for Joe Johnson to have a big night as McLemore is not only a rookie but also undersized. So in the post, Johnson could easily get 5-10 foot post fadeaways and he did just that a few times, but he couldn’t connect. Johnson struggled with his shot all night and picked a bad time to have a bad shooting night with such a favorable match-up that the Nets tried to exploit.
- Kevin Garnett still could not find his touch scoring wise. He played only 15 minutes, but shot a dreaded 2-9 from the field. He’ll need to get back on track shortly if the Nets have any hope of getting the 1 seed in the East as some expect them to do.
The Nets will continue their west coast road trip on Friday when they play the Phoenix Suns in which they look to end this 3 game losing streak.