The Brooklyn Nets have looked like a completely different team in 2014, playing with lots of energy and a focus on defense, but on Friday night they looked like the same lifeless team that took the court so many times in 2013 as they were blown-out by the Pistons 111-95 in Detroit.
Deron Williams had 10 points and no assists, Mason Plumlee and Reggie Evans had 13 and 11 points respectively, but the big-men, who only shoot high-percentage shots, shot just 33.3 percent combined. Mirza Teletovic went 0-for-5 from the floor, all behind the arc in fact, and Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston shot 2-for-13 combined.
“It was the same thing that went wrong the last time we played them,” said D-Will. “They had 40-plus points in the paint and we weren’t getting back in transition defense. They were just running the ball up our throat. We just weren’t ready to play tonight. Our energy wasn’t there, our effort wasn’t there and they seemed to have another gear than us.”
The Nets didn’t even play hard in the first quarter. It was quickly 6-1 Pistons, they tied it at 12-12, but then just as quickly it was 20-14 and 30-17 by the end of the first. Things started to get really ugly in the second as the Pistons kept their momentum from the first going and had a 15-0 run to go ahead 37-17. The Nets trailed by 23 at halftime.
Kevin Garnett officially had the night off, but unofficially the rest of the team took the night off too. So a 23-point deficit might as well have been a 50-point deficit because they weren’t coming back. The bench got the majority of the minutes in the second half and Terry took advantage, but he was literally the only one.
The 67 points the Pistons scored in the first half were the most any team has scored in the first half on the Nets all season and those were some bad games early in the year. The Pistons, by the way, have a 20-29 record.