Deron Williams had yet another setback to his sprained ankle as the Brooklyn Nets lost another disappointing game to the Charlotte Bobcats 95-91 in North Carolina on Wednesday night.
SPRAINED ANKLE: D-Will went up for a three in the second quarter, came down on Kemba Walker‘s foot, and immediately collapsed to the ground as he twisted his ankle again. Afterward the Nets didn’t know how long he would be out for and will have to wait to see how he feels tomorrow, but it’s probably at least another game or two.
“He sprained one of the ankles so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” said Jason Kidd. “He was ready to go and he looked good. We thought we could move forward, but now stepping on Kemba’s foot and he’s out. It’s part of the game and unfortunately it’s happened to him a few times.”
D-Will missed all but the final preseason game with a sprained ankle. He just missed the last two games before Wednesday night after he turned it last Friday.
THE GAME: The were in it early on and only trailed by one after the first and by three at halftime. However, that was due to 62.5 percent in the first and 48.6% in the half. They didn’t play defense though, as they were outscored in the paint 36-14 and out rebounded 17-14 including five offensive rebounds. So when they stopped shooting so well as the game went on, the Bobcats eventually started pulling away.
“The defense is something that we have got to get better at,” Kidd said. “We worked on it in the preseason and during the season we thought it would be something that we could hang our hat on.”
TURNING POINT: The Nets were trailing 55-54 with 10:55 left in the third when things suddenly fell apart. The Bobcats went on a 13-0 run to blow the game wide open, 68-57. It wasn’t that the Bobcats were that bad, it was more that the Nets struggled. Sure, the Bobcats had two steals, but Kevin Garnett had an offensive foul, Joe Johnson and Shaun Livingston each threw the ball into the stands, and Andray Blatche traveled during that run.
They shot themselves in the foot. Sure, they severely miss Brook Lopez and D-Will, especially Brook’s presence in the paint, but they could have won this game. Guys just won’t, or can’t possibly because of their age, play with intensity or consistency throughout the game.
“Some times with substitutions there is a time period where guys are just trying to get back into it, it happens, but we have to find a way where we’re playing well for a full 48 minutes,” Kidd said. “We all know that we have to get better and that’s just the bottom line.”
FAILED COMEBACK: The Nets tried to comeback, and played with intensity in the fourth quarter, but just fell short. Blatche had 10 points and four rebounds, three of them offensive, as he led the team. Garnett contributed on defense with three rebounds in six minutes. Alan Anderson also had nine points.
They were down just two points with 12.1 seconds left after Blatche hit a layup. Kemba Walker hit both free throws though and Joe Johnson missed a final three, he wasn’t fouled so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, so the Nets ran out of time.
OFFENSE THROUGH BLATCHE: Andray Blatche played his best game of the season. He finished with 25 points and seven assists. The difference was he was aggressive and drove to the hoop rather than settle for a majority of jump shots. He was 11-for-14 from the floor.
NOT SO CLUTCH: Joe Johnson finished with 19 points and shot 6-for-13 from the floor and 4-for-9 behind the arc, but he was 0-for-3 in the fourth quarter.