New Jersey Nets Close Out Detroit Pistons 101-98: Show Promise Moving Foward
The New Jersey Nets now have something they didn't have until December 4th last season.
While one win certainly doesn't define a team's season, the Nets showed that they finally have the ability to win games in the 4th quarter.
As the Nets shooters went cold and the Pistons went up by seven with only a few minutes to play, every Nets fan sighed, as memories of last year's futility flooded their minds.
"They can't get stops late in games."
"Nobody on the team is capable of making that last shot."
That was last year. This year will be different.
With five minutes left and the game slowly slipping away, Avery Johnson showed us all the lengths that he will go to in order to secure a win.
On two straight possessions, the Nets intentionally fouled Ben Wallace, sending him to the line. A notoriously bad free-throw shooter, Wallace hit one of four, forcing Pistons coach John Keuster's hand as he promptly removed Wallace from the game.
This sparked a Nets rally, highlighted by two clutch three-pointers from sharpshooters Anthony Morrow and Jordon Farmar.
Although Terrence Williams missed two key free-throws that would have iced the game, the Nets defense was able to force Ben Gordon into a tough shot from the corner, which he air-balled as time expired.
It was not a pretty win by any means, but the team showed a desire that had been lacking for most of last year.
At times the offense looked anemic, but not for longer than a few minutes at a time. Whereas the Nets of 2009 would disappear for quarters at a time, the Nets of 2010 are able to go to the bench and find the energy needed to pull through.
This was best seen through Terrence Williams, who provided instant energy off the bench at PG, SG and SF, filling his stat line across all categories. The Nets were +16 with him on the floor.
Derrick Favors came off the bench excited and inspired, finishing the night with eight points and ten rebounds, including three off the offensive glass.
The Nets will host the Sacramento Kings on Friday and the Miami Heat on Sunday, in what should be a packed house.
Some would say the Nets are going to be underdogs in all 82 games they play this year. However, with the right mentality and a solid chemistry, the Nets could surely use that to their advantage.
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