Brooklyn Nets First Ever Game - Back in New Jersey?

By John J. Paolantonio
Eric Hartline – US PRESSWIRE

The Brooklyn Nets checked off another “first” in their franchise last night in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The Nets played their first ever game as a team last night in the Boardwalk Classic against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Nets coach Avery Johnson had specific areas he wanted to watch and a plan for this particular game.  The starters were scheduled to play anywhere between 18 and 24 minutes and the bench would go ten deep.  Defense was the main objective on Saturday night and it showed in first quarter.

The Nets began the game with a thunderous dunk by Kris Humphries off a feed from Deron Williams and the Nets starters did not look back as they built a 13 point lead after the first quarter.  The offense was in a nice flow and the Nets moved the ball quickly and looked cohesive.

The second unit for the Nets, CJ Watson, Keith Bogans, Mirza Teletovic, Josh Childress and Andray Blatche and played well enough to keep the lead at 51-44 at halftime.  The newcomers for the Nets, Teletovic and Blatche, struggled with their shots but played good defense to keep the 76ers at bay through three quarters.

The fourth quarter began with the Nets starters done for the evening and the Nets bench needing to hold onto a sizable lead of 79-64.  Watson did what he could to hold off the 76ers, who were led by Nick Young (21points), but the 76ers made a late run to send the game to overtime.  In overtime with the Philadelphia crowd going crazy, Watson and Blatche made key baskets late to lead the Nets to a 108-105 win.

“We utilized all of our strengths,” Avery Johnson said after the game. “Brook inside… Shooting on the perimeter with all three of our perimeter guys, posting up with Wallace and Joe. And Deron, obviously doing a little bit of everything.”“We’ve done a lot of commercials and we’ve done so many interviews talking about Brooklyn, it was finally good to see them out in a Brooklyn Nets uniform,” coach Avery Johnson said.

Reporters asked Johnson for his thoughts on the first preseason home game at the new Barclays Center on Monday Night.
“I’m hearing we’re going to have a pretty good crowd for a preseason game,” Avery Johnson said. “A lot of folks are talking about it. I heard the lines are going to be long for a preseason game before the doors are open. That’s what we want. That’s what they do in Oklahoma City and a lot of other teams where franchises have relocated to a city and a stadium.”
The Barclays Center will certainly be full of Nets fans that want a look at this new era in Nets basketball.
Nets Notes:  Brook Lopez scored 19 points and had 9 rebounds.  Gerald Wallace added 18 points while Joe Johnson had 13.  Deron Williams had his usual all around game with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists.


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