Unlike the game that they played against the Celtics last week, the Nets started Carter and Jefferson and played their starters considerable minutes with Carter leading the way with 32 minutes. Pierce, Garnett, Ray Allen, and Perk were all on the bench in suits while our bench held their own against the Nets starting front line. Shooting was once again a concern with the Celtics shooting 32.9% from the field and a whopping 19% from beyond the arc. The game was also sloppy with 20 turnovers for the Celtics and 21 for the Nets. For much of the game, both teams were sloppy with the ball and it was like a ping pong game at times with the ball going back and forth with each team turning it over.
Player of the game tonight was Big Baby. He got his first extended playing time of the off season and made the best of it. He finished with 21 points on 6-10 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in 32 minutes. He also took 3 charges and was 9-9 from the field. This kid is solid. At one point, Antoine Wright collided with Big Baby and it didn't phase Big Baby, but Wright was sent reeling backwards. They pulled him out of the game as he was trying to shake off the effects of the collision and Vince Carter was just cracking up about it on the side. Note to opponents: Collide with Big Baby at your own risk.
Tony Allen also had his first extended minutes of the preseason and played a game high 42 minutes. He had a very rough shooting night as he was only 2-15 from the field and even missed a dunk. He seemed very tentative going up for the dunk as though he really wasn't sure he should and just barely got over the rim with the ball bouncing off the back of the rim. With his shots not falling, Tony helped in other areas with an incredible 6 steals to go with 9 assists, 10 points and 2 rebounds.
Scal started at power forward and played 36 minutes. He finished with 11 points (5-11), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steals, and 1 block. Posey got the start at small forward and finished with 9 points (2-5), 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Powe started at center and wasn't much of a factor in this one as he picked up 3 quick fouls and played only 14 minutes. He went scoreless but pulled down 5 rebounds.
Rondo kept his starting spot and finished with 4 points (1-8), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. He is always inside fighting for rebounds, often leaping to take them away from bigger players. He seemed to tire or lose focus toward the end and uncharacteristically turned the ball over 5 times. Eddie House continued his streaky shooting, scoring 10 points on 5-1l shooting along with 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Pruitt played only 5 minutes and pulled down one rebound and has 1 steal.
The players who are on the bubble for that final spot played some at the end of the game. Jones played 14 minutes finishing with 3 points (1-4), 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Manuel finished with 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal in 7 minutes. Wallace finished with 1 rebound and 2 fouls in 5 minutes.
On the pregame show, Marc Spears mentioned that they are concerned about Perk's quad. I haven't seen it anywhere else as other reports have said that he is fine and they are just resting him for the regular season. I sure hope it is nothing because we really need Perk. The back up center position is a concern at this point.
All in all, the game wasn't too disappointing. Our bench stayed with their starters for much of the game and that is encouraging. It was very sloppy for both teams and that could be a symptom of it being the preseason. Granted, the Nets were without Kidd, but they did play Carter over 30 minutes and Jefferson and Kristic over 20. In the end, it was just a preseason game and doesn't count, but it did give our bench players some good experience that may be very important in the long run this season.