Winners and Losers from Week 1 of Brooklyn Nets' Preseason
The victory came by way of Brooklyn's depth.
The Nets were fortunate to have a few players elevate their games, while a few others struggled with consistency and made some costly mistakes.
Let's take a look at the winners and losers from Week 1.
Winner: Brook Lopez
Although he played only 12 minutes, Brook Lopez looked brilliant offensively.
He scored 15 points on the night, shooting 6-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 at the foul line.
Lopez didn't have to fight too much for positioning, and he made the Wizards pay in the paint. He used his jump hook over his left shoulder for a couple of easy baskets, and the one time he was double-teamed, he found Kevin Garnett cutting to the hoop for an easy score.
He also blocked Kevin Seraphin's shot for his only block on the night.
Lopez, in his limited minutes, displayed how valuable he is to the Nets.
Loser: Alan Anderson
Alan Anderson shot the ball well, 4-of-8 from the field and 1-of-3 from behind the arc, but his three turnovers and lackadaisical effort fighting through screens is why he's in the loser section.
Basketball is about more than scoring, and while Anderson made a couple of nice plays, knocking down a jumper in transition at the elbow, he wasn't as efficient with the ball as he needed to be.
In the first half, he made a terrible pass to Tyshawn Taylor with the shot clock winding down which resulted in a turnover, and in the second half, he forced a pass to Mason Plumlee in the paint that was deflected and eventually stolen.
Anderson needs to be stronger with the ball and avoid forcing passes. On the pass to Plumlee, Anderson had Andrei Kirilenko to his right (behind the arc), lifting from the baseline, which should have been where he went with the ball. Kirilenko could've then reset the offense at that point and set up an easier opportunity.
Anderson also had trouble getting through two screens set on him for Bradley Beal.
The first one, the Nets didn't switch, and Beal hit an open mid-range jumper. On the second screen, Blatche switched with Anderson and Blatche's man, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, rolled to the basket. Anderson rolled with Mensah-Bonsu, but not enthusiastically enough, which allowed Mensah-Bonsu to effortlessly deliver a putback dunk on Beal's miss.
It's unlikely that Anderson boxes Mensah-Bonsu out and grabs the rebound, but if he rolled harder with Mensah-Bonsu and put his body on Pops, that little bit of contact might be enough to thwart the second-chance basket.
Little plays like that determine games in the playoffs.
Winner: Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko had your quintessential AK47 game. He had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block in 24 minutes.
As expected, Kirilenko played tight defense and used his long arms to force turnovers.
On one play, he grabbed a steal and found Andray Blatche on the other end for an easy dunk. Another one of his steals came off of a defensive rebound that Kirilenko knocked away, which he then dished to Tyshawn Taylor streaking toward the basket for an easy layup.
Kirilenko had a nice give-and-go exchange with Reggie Evans that resulted in a bucket, and the Russian swingman displayed his attacking prowess on one play where he pump faked a three-pointer and drove to the hoop, finishing creatively with an awkward left-handed layup.
What one saw from AK47 in this game is what he gives you every game: plenty of energy, deflections, smart plays and awkward finishes.
Loser: Tyshawn Taylor
Tyshawn Taylor may have led the Nets with 16 points, but he also turned the ball over seven times. In an effort to negate those turnovers, he dished six dimes, but it wasn't enough to place him in the winner column.
Taylor is talented, he's energetic and he's also too careless with the ball. A couple of times he drove to the basket and attempted to make a pass across his body while in the air, which resulted in turnovers.
He also missed out on a couple of assists he should have had by not utilizing the right pass or reading the defense appropriately. Taylor led a fast break one possession, and actually had Mason Plumlee streaking to the basket for an easy alley-oop, but he balked and instead forced a dump off to Kirilenko (on his right) cutting to the hoop that was deflected. The idea to give Kirilenko the ball in that instance was fine, but Taylor needed to use a bounce pass to circumvent the defense, as opposed to a lazy shuffle.
Taylor has a bright future and should learn plenty under Jason Kidd and Deron Williams, but he needs to increase his offensive awareness and be stronger with the ball.
Winner: Reggie Evans
Reggie Evans had seven rebounds and three offensive boards. Two of those three second-chance opportunities came from his hustle under the hoop, attempting to score over three defenders after grabbing an offensive rebound.
Instead of giving up on the play, or complaining about contact, Evans stayed with the ball and eventually used his power dribble to create enough space before drawing a foul. He shot 3-of-6 from the foul line, which is in line with his career average.
Evans did his job against the Wizards, playing tough defense on Nene. In one instance, Evans bodied Nene into the middle of the paint where the Nets defense was, and that trapping led to a traveling violation.
Loser: Andray Blatche
Andray Blatche actually played well, but he made a couple of lazy passes that led to turnovers.
Early in the game, he tried to reverse the ball to Reggie Evans on the perimeter, but Blatche telegraphed where he wanted to go with the ball and Evans' defender Nene read the passing lane, stole the ball and dunked easily in transition.
Blatche also had the chair pulled out from under him by Al Harrington, which was a sign of his over-aggressiveness. Early jitters and the Washington faithful booing him every time he touched the ball are likely to be responsible for his lackluster moments, but he needs to focus and be more aware.
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