New Jersey Drive: Nets upset NBA title contender for 6th win

By: 02.28.10  •  28 Comments

Terrence Williams (photo. Nicky Woo)

If you thought last Thursday’s loss to the Cavs was a sign the Celtics don’t have enough in the tank to win a championship this year, Saturday’s loss to the New Jersey Nets — yes, we said the New Jersey Nets — was all the confirmation you needed … Tommy Heinsohn and the two psychos from Celtic Pride would have a hard time coming up with an excuse here: Boston was at home, they hadn’t traveled since last weekend, they weren’t playing a back-to-back, and Kevin Garnett (26 pts, 9 rebs) and Rajon Rondo (13 pts, 17 asts) didn’t play horribly. It would be silly to suggest the 41-11 free throw margin in favor of N.J. was some kind of ref conspiracy. All you could maybe lean on was that Paul Pierce (thumb) didn’t play, but the Celts are supposed to have enough talent to withstand one of their All-Stars missing … The Nets simply outplayed the Celtics. They attacked the basket while Boston settled for jumpers. Brook Lopez (25 pts, 11-14 FT) and Kris Humphries (11 pts, 10 rebs, 4 stls) did work in the paint, while Devin Harris (23 pts, 10-10 FT) looked as good as he has all season. One of the key plays in the fourth quarter was Humphries driving baseline, stopping to fake a pass out to the perimeter when KG and Rasheed stepped up, then spinning back baseline and leaving KG in the dust for a bucket … Earlier in the fourth, Garnett caught an alley-oop on Humphries’ head, one of his most vicious dunks of the year. What does KG have against mildly-skilled big guys from Minnesota? First Rick Rickert, then Humphries … (BTW, we know Terrence Williams only had 2 points in 7 minutes, but the above photo captures how every player on the Nets felt yesterday.) … Looking to build some momentum and get back in the playoff hunt after beating the Spurs the other night, the Rockets ran into a Deron Williams buzz saw. More specifically, Aaron Brooks ran into the buzz saw. D-Will dropped 20 points in the first quarter on Brooks, finishing with 35 and 13 dimes in a Utah blowout. Word of advice on defense: When you weigh 120 pounds like Brooks, don’t worry about helping out on D in the paint if it means you’re leaving D-Will open beyond the arc. It’s not like you’re ripping the ball out of Carlos Boozer‘s hands anyway … Kevin Martin scored 32, his second straight 30-plus game. After his first few games in Houston we weren’t sure if K-Mart was cut out to be The Man on this squad, but apparently he’s gonna get buckets wherever he goes. Martin, Brooks and Yao Ming are a nice trio going into next year, if Martin and Yao can stay on the court … Some of the Dime crew was at MSG for Grizzlies/Knicks. Pre-game meal of champions? In the locker room about 90 minutes before tip-off, Rudy Gay, Marcus Williams, Lester Hudson, Steven Hunter and O.J. Mayo were all eating burgers and fries … O.J. and his old high school buddy Bill Walker (Knicks) were catching up in the tunnel. Mayo asked Bill for his jersey, to which he replied, “If they let me give it away.” … New Knick J.R. Giddens told us that after his first game with the team, somebody stole his sunglasses from his locker. Welcome to the Big Apple … The Knicks are selling next year’s season tickets in a package that lets you get the last 15 games of this season as part of the deal. That’s like making you watch a snuff film before (potentially) great porn … As for the game, it basically belonged to Zach Randolph. His 31-point, 25-rebound effort was the first 30-25 line at MSG by anybody since Hakeem Olajuwon. Oh, and Marc Gasol added 25, 13 and 8 dimes. Why was David Lee an All-Star again? … Other stat lines from Saturday: Danny Granger dropped 30 points on the Bulls in a win, while Derrick Rose left late in the fourth when he got his knee banged; Stephen Curry scored 27 to lead Golden State past Detroit; John Salmons had 18 points in Milwaukee’s win at Miami; and Nic Batum went for 31 points, 7 boards, 7 dimes and 3 steals as Portland beat Minnesota … If you haven’t heard, Michael Jordan is about to become majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Why is everyone assuming that now MJ will be all hands-on in the process, hitting the scouting trail and helping come up with marketing strategy and all that? Yeah, it’s his money on the line now, but as the owner he can hire people for that stuff. Just taking a random team for example, does the Atlanta Hawks owner travel to college games all over the country and scout? Do you even know who owns the Hawks? … We’re out like Rick Rickert …

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