Brooklyn finally notched a victory against a top-tier opponent after beating the Boston Celtics, 102-97, Thursday evening. Deron Williams and Brook Lopez led the Nets with 24 points. Joe Johnson had 19 despite shooting a dismal 6-for-19 from the field.
Johnson made up for his poor shooting by connecting on two mid-range jumpers in the closing minutes of regulation to seal the win for Brooklyn, who is now 5-2 on the year. While the win was important for Brooklyn moving forward, our enthusiasm should be tempered. Because of the absence of star guard Rajon Rondo due to an ankle injury, the Celtics struggled offensively. Pierce and Garnett got their points, but the Celtic role players were hard-pressed to score because they did not have the open looks they would’ve received with Rondo on the floor. Brooklyn was also deficient on offense. At times, the Nets resorted to one-on-one basketball instead of working together as a unit. Even with the victory, the Nets are still a work in progress. The C’s and Nets are pretty evenly matched and would make for a competitive matchup even with Rondo on the floor for Boston. It will be interesting to see how Brooklyn fares if both teams are at full strength later in the season.
- Inconsistent Celtics miss Rondo, also miss win in Brooklyn (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)