Last night, the starters got off to a very poor start. They seemed to be settling for half court basketball and we saw very little running. Perk was called for 3 quick fouls, 2 of which were bad calls on offensive fouls, and left the game. We had very little presence on the boards and weren't playing any defense and were turning the ball over way too much. It seemed that the Nets were going to run away with the game, leading by 18 at the half.
The Nets pushed the lead to 23 when a strange thing happened. Doc finally gave Leon Powe playing time and sent out a lineup that included Powe, Rondo, Telfair, Gomes, and Tony Allen. This team played in your face defense and Powe played very tough under the basket, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking shots, and they ran. The end result is that we won a game that appeared to be lost.
I have said before that our youth can work for us this season. Last night was an example of this. With an entirely young team, we rallied from a huge deficit and won the game. They just played hard and pressed on defense, holding Vince Carter scoreless in the 4th period. I believe that the keys to this win were Powe who played very tough under the basket and grabbing rebounds. We outrebounded NJ 43-38 and that is a key to winning. We have to win the rebounding battle. Doc went to his small ball lineup again, but this time, included 2 rebounders in Gomes and Powe and that made the difference.
Also, it was the steady play of both point guards again, particularly Rondo who had 10 points, 6 assists and NO turnovers. Telfair came up big at the end to seal the victory and ended with 10 points, 2 assists, 3 steals, and No turnovers.
Perk, Al and Green all played limited minutes due to picking up quick fouls. Perk and Al especially seemed a bit tentative after picking up quick fouls. Wally sat out as a precautionary measure again, although he said he felt very good. West, Scal, and Ratliff sat out with injuries. Pierce started but was in obvious discomfort afterwards. Kandi and Allan Ray played limited minutes and both were basically ineffective. Luke Jackson came in and hit a couple of 3s but was 2 of 6 on the night.
Doc has said again that cuts will probably come tomorrow. Hopefully now that Powe has pretty much outplayed all of our other bigs, he will be part of this team for this season. It seems as though Pitts and Akingbala will be the first cuts, since they haven't shown much of anything so far this season.