The Nets got a huge win in their playoff push on Tuesday night, as they outlasted the Indiana Pacers 111-106 at Barclays Center.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of the manner in which they won this one, “Well, I just thought that we came out super aggressive. Defensively, we were flying all over the place, getting loose balls and steals. And we were executing offensively. I thought Brook (Lopez) got off to a good start. We built the huge lead (39-20) but I thought we kind of relaxed and when the second unit went in, we weren’t getting the stops. We weren’t getting stops and we were not getting loose balls that we were getting in the first half. Then, we came out in the third and it was a battle. Once they got back in the game, they were in the game. They weren’t going anywhere after that. And I thought that down the stretch we did a great job defensively, stopping them, rebounding, going down and executing. Alan (Anderson) was super in the game as well as Brook was. I thought Deron’s (Williams) start really got us going. He was flying all over the court, getting to the basket and making plays for Brook. and Markel (Brown) with his defense was getting good stuff for us, too. And I thought we finally just played freely at home and just got after it. And again, they’re a team that has a lot of effective leadership. They’ve been to war a few times and they came back and they battled. You’ve got to give them credit as well. I thought that we executed down the stretch. And defensively, when they needed threes, we did a great job of keeping them except for the one by George Hill at the top of the key. I thought we did an excellent job of doing what we talked about doing.”
Hollins said of playing freely with six players scoring in double figures, “Well, when we play the way that we are playing, we’re sharing the ball. One real big key was Joe (Johnson) and Brook executing the pick and roll. Joe goes up to shoot, the big guy comes, he throws it to Brook, Brook puts it on the floor, and Joe relocates, he throws it to Joe and he hits a big three to put us up 108-100. Those kind of plays, once you start doing them, they become contagious. And that’s the way we would like to be, where everyone is just sharing the ball and it’s the Brooklyn Nets scoring and not so much an individual. But, in the end, everybody’s number showed up on the board because of it.”
Hollins said of the Nets’ defense on the last two plays, “Well, we stayed home, we switched when we had to. And then I thought Alan (Anderson) was guarding (George) Hill and they got in the paint, ball came back out and Alan could’ve stayed but he ran back out and ran George off the three-point line. He turns around and throws it to (Roy) Hibbert. Okay, we’ll take our chances with that one even though he could have hit it, he was wide open. I just thought that we played smart and we played very disciplined.”
Deron Williams, who had 11 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds, said of what it means to win a big game like this, “It was huge, you know. This game meant a lot to us – it meant a lot to them – how the seeding’s going right now, tiebreaker wise. This gives us the tiebreaker over them, so this was a huge game for us. Like you said, we gave up the lead, and there were times this year where we would’ve probably buckled, but we didn’t. We kept going, we kind of shrugged it off, we built a lead again, we lost it. It was back and forth all game. When it came down the stretch, we got stops when we needed to, we got free and made plays. Brook (Lopez) carried us in the first half and Joe (Johnson) took over in the second. It was just a great team win. There are a lot of guys who played well.”
On how it feels to finally get in the rhythm of winning games, Williams said, “It was good, but we just got to keep it going. You know, we talk about it and just take it one game at a time.”
Williams said of his increased numbers since returning to the starting lineup, “I’m just trying to do whatever, man. I’m just trying to make an impact on the game, whatever it is, defensively, assisting, you know. These guys have got it going right now. I mean, like we talked about the other game, Brook got the pick and roll going. I’m just trying to get guys the ball, run the offense and do whatever I can.”
On how the Nets are responding differently to losing a lead now compared to early in the season, “I don’t know. Just the mentality, I guess – a sense of urgency, you know, realizing we have a chance to make these playoffs, and we’re just trying to make the playoffs.”