Nets, n. pl. The braided fabric sort-of-cylinders that hang from the basketball hoops: “Neither Oklahoma City nor New Jersey demonstrated any consistent ability to put actual balls through the nets.” (dustbury.com, 21 January 2012)
The Thunder’s last visit to New Jersey — next year, they’ll be visiting Brooklyn — was rather easily summed up: neither Oklahoma City nor New Jersey demonstrated any consistent ability to put actual balls through the nets. OKC shot a mediocre 41.6 percent (four of 17 treys), but New Jersey tossed up a horrendous 31 percent (three of 23). Avery Johnson probably tossed up something just watching it (not) happen. The 84-74 final suggests a titanic defensive struggle, but actually it was a series of miscues; the Thunder just had slightly fewer of them.
Telltale statistic: In 26 minutes, Nets center Mehmet Okur had nine rebounds, which is decent, and zero points, which is less so. Deron Williams and MarShon Brooks managed 14 points each, though it took them 35 shots to get those 28 points, and all ten of their three-point attempts clanked. Kris Humphries, at least, seemed focused, perhaps [rest of thought redacted to avoid unnecessary Kardashian references].
To beat this, all the Thunder had to do was not suck, and for the most part they didn’t, though Kevin Durant really doesn’t have to take all those three-point shots — at least, all the ones he missed, which tonight was all of them. (Six.) Still, KD had a double-double, with 20 points and 15 rebounds, Russell Westbrook dropped in 21 points, and Serge Ibaka blocked five shots, making the Nets’ woeful shooting look even more so. Still, this is the kind of night it was: the Thunder were assessed two T’s, and Kendrick Perkins got neither of them.
Williams Report: Of the four Nets named Williams, Deron (see above) got 14 points, Shelden 3, Shawne a DNP-CD, and Jordan was off playing in the D-League.
And so ends the sweep through the East, though the Pistons will be showing up Monday for the first half of a Thunder homestand. (The second half comes Wednesday, against the struggling Hornets.) After that, it’s off to the West Coast, and there goes my sleep schedule.