The Nets suffered another dreadful lost at Barclays Center on Monday night, this one to the Boston Celtics, 110-91, dropping their home record to 12-20 and their overall record to 29-40. The Nets lost ground to Boston in the playoff chase, falling 1-1/2 games behind them. The Celtics beat the Nets in three of their four meetings this season.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of being unable to win at home, “It’s not about figuring it out. You go out and compete and play hard and see what happens. Score more points than the other team more often in more games and we’ll improve. Frustrated is a strong word. I don’t like that word. I’m disappointed that we haven’t won more at home. We’ve got a chance here starting after we go on this trip tomorrow and play (in Charlotte Wednesday). I think we have 10 more home games and see what we can do. Each game is different. It’s unfortunate that we don’t. There are a lot of theories. I have my own theory, but I’m not sharing. Hopefully we can turn it around.”
Nets starting center Brook Lopez said of the team’s struggles at home, “I don’t know. It’s bizarre. I don’t know. It’s the way it is right now. You know, I’m not going to discredit us. I thought we were out there fighting putting in a good effort. It just didn’t go our way tonight.”
Nets forward Alan Anderson said of struggling at home, “I wish I knew the reason. I could pinpoint it and we wouldn’t have (a problem). I don’t know. Maybe we need to have the mindset of being on the road when we’re at home, but we definitely need to take care of home better than we do.”
Anderson said of all the Celtics fans in the building, “Our crowd, sometimes they with us, sometimes they not. When we’re playing like that, what do you expect?”
Anderson said of the differences between last year, when they made a run in March, and this season, “Different team. Different team. Different coaching staff. It’s different, but we still have the guys to get the job done, we just gotta do it.”
What Anderson was referring to was that last year’s team had Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Marcus Thornton, Andray Blatche, Mirza Teletovic (who is currently hurt), and Kevin Garnett (although he missed a lot of time last March with back spasms), and the Head Coach was Jason Kidd.
Nets backup center Mason Plumlee said of the futility at Barclays Center, “I’m not sure what it is but we definitely have to play better at home because a lot of these games down the stretch are at home, so to give ourselves a chance, we have to play well.”
Hollins said on the topic of what was the biggest issue on Monday night against the Celtics, “Well, first of all, I’ve said before that we don’t match up with them very well. We haven’t in preseason. In regular season, we beat them once up there. We had to come from 10 down to do it. But I’m not disappointed in the way our effort was. I’m disappointed in the loss. I’m disappointed that we couldn’t make shots, but that’s part of the game. We scrambled, we battled. We did as well as we could do shooting as poorly as we were shooting. We hung around in the offensive rebounds and points in the paint. But, ultimately, we couldn’t stop them and we couldn’t score. We’ve been at this point with them before – late third quarter they go on a run, close game and they blow it out and we can’t fight back. That’s how the ball bounces, the cookie crumbles.”
Hollins said of the combination of the Nets’ poor shooting and the tough Boston defense, “Well, they’re quick and they will recover but we had open shots. Not all of them were contested. Jarrett (Jack) had two or three wide open. Bojan (Bogdanovic) had two or three wide open. Jarrett, Alan (Anderson), Deron (Williams) – when you look at our perimeter guys, the starting perimeters were 6-for-19 and then the perimeters coming off the bench were 6-for-32. So that’s 12-for-51. You can’t get a dime and you can’t make shots like that. They also took away as the game went on. They took away our ability to get inside. We did some stuff with Brook (Lopez) and the pick-and-roll. When we would try to go to Brook, we weren’t as effective as it was with the pick-and-roll. We just didn’t have a lot working for us offensively, so we couldn’t keep up with them. We had trouble matching up with them on offense.”
Hollins said of the Nets’ issues defending the pick-and-roll, “Well, they had a small guy in the pick-and-roll, and they had a big guy who could pop back and shoot threes. So they would go off the small and he’d run away, and the big would go to the basket or he was popping back. They hit a couple of shots that way. Then, when you try to help, the guy got around the show man and drove the basket and laid it over you. It’s a combination. It’s a good play. They’ve hurt us with it in Boston when they had (Rajon) Rondo. They ran the same play down the stretch, and we had trouble defending it. It’s a tough play, and they have people who are perfect for the play.”