With Keith Bogans sidelined due to injury, Jerry Stackhouse played in his first game since January 26th....and scored 10 points on 5-6 shooting. It was that kind of night for the Nets, to say the least
Well, that was fun, and much-needed. Tonight at The Palace, just outside of Detroit, the Brooklyn Nets crushed the home-team Pistons into near-oblivion, winning one of their more convincing decisions of the season to date. Coming off a terrible, effort-deficient loss yesterday at home agains the Hawks, the Nets players boarded their charter flight to Detroit with the sole goal in mind of getting rid of the bad taste in their respective mouths from the failure vs Atlanta by beating a bad Pistons team. In short, they succeeded in that task, and more.
Not wasting any time, the Nets, and Deron Williams especially, got off to a hot start, scoring 36 in the first quarter and setting an early tone that they were going to hit their shots, get open ones, and even make some nice rotations here and there. D-Will scored 14 in the opening period alone, en route to another All-Star-like performance, with 31 points on 10-18 shooting. It's pretty fair to say that he has reached the elite level he was consistently at in Utah. And if he can keep playing at that level, there's no real limit to where this team can go.
Anyway, Brooklyn took a 13-point lead out of the game's first 12 minutes and really never looked back. In the second, the bench--rebounding wonderfully from a lackluster effort last night--played just as well as the starters did, with notables Jerry Stackhouse! (returning to lineup after nearly two months without game action) and MarShon Brooks (who played 24 minutes this evening as opposed to just two against the Hawks) leading the way, scoring a combined 20 points on 9-14 shooting between the two. In fact, all five of the reserves that played for P.J. tonight did well, as Mirza contributed nine points and six points, Andray Blatche dropped 15 and eight, while C.J.--still stuck in a small shooting slump--added five points and five dimes.
The second half took the game, which was already decidedly in the Nets' favor, and made it a massacre, as Brooklyn approached a 45-point lead a bunch of time, although the deficit always remained around the 40-mark. Brook Lopez began to dominate Greg Monroe in the third quarter, contributing to a Nets effort that outscored Detroit 60-37 over the game's final 24 minutes. It got really ugly towards the end, as the road team kept hitting shots while the home team couldn't. That's always a recipe for a beautifully-baked demolition of a team like the PIstons with a stunning amount of injuries.
Some other observations I had from the game: #ReggieEvansReboundWatch (gonna make this a thing I do for every recap now): 11. 1-5 from field, but in a game like this one, I couldn't care less about the shooting.....Gerald Wallace scored two points, on a nice alley-oop jam from D-Will in the first. Wallace was 1-4 on the night in 28 minutes and only grabbed two boards. But came out with a +27. Shows how well the Nets' 1st-line played.....The Big Three scored 62 on 21-39 shooting from the field. They do that every night and it's hard to see how the Nets don't win the Atlantic.....Can we play the Pistons every night?....I actually feel bad that Greg Monroe (8-10 FG, 17 points, seven rebounds) has to play for this team. HIs talents could be sooooo much better utilized on a less-awful team.
The Nets continue their eight-game road trip with a national TV (ESPN) game on Wednesday night in Dallas vs the Mavericks.