The Nets blew out the Washington Wizards 117-80 on Friday night at Barclays Center, clinging to eighth place in the Eastern Conference Standings.
Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins said of what he saw during the game, “Well, obviously, at the start of the game, our defense was just beautiful. We made very few mistakes, we rebounded the ball as well, and I thought for a quarter and a half we played outstanding defense and the offense was good. And then we just kind of shut down offensively, and didn’t turnover a lot, but we missed about three or four layups for a stretch and they just ran back down on us. We came back out in the third quarter and kind of played even with them again. Our guys were starting to look tired. I took Brook (Lopez) out, and I took Thaddeus (Young) out. Then, at the end of te quarter, I decided to go with Brook and Mason (Plumlee), and you know we started clicking. Once they had nothing really to play for and once we ballooned the lead back up to 20, they kind of just shut down and we were just able to steamroll after that.”
The Wizards committed 21 turnovers that led to 38 points for the Nets. Hollins said of being able to score off turnovers and how the team was executing defensively, “We executed offensively. We were scoring, and it wasn’t like we had a lot of fastbreak points in doing that either. We had six fastbreak points, so it was just coming down and executing offensively. I thought that was an amazing stat – 38 points off of turnovers. We had 54 points in the paint, we had 29 assists – which I’m proud of – we had 10 steals, about six turnovers. I thought all of that played into a plus. You know, we shot 12-of-20 from the three-point line. I thought Bogie (Bojan Bogdanovic) gave us a huge lift. Joe’s (Johnson) playmaking was really good, Deron’s (Williams) playmaking was really good. Then Bogie and Jarrett (Jack) came off the bench and gave us some shooting and scoring. When Bogie goes 7-for-12 and 6-for-6 from the three-point line, you know, we love it. I think that if he made his layups, he might have been perfect for the night. We played well and we move on to the next game.”
Hollins said of what he things has led to an increase in ball movement, and whether sharing the ball has helped, “Obviously, it’s easier for everybody when we do share the ball, but we’re cutting better, we’re reading what we’re doing better, we’re sharing the ball and playing together better – everything is just better.”
On Brook Lopez shooting the ball more in the first quarter, Hollins said, “Well, he’s around the basket more so you can find him easier, and it helps him get offensive rebounds. But you know, we just go out and play. Whatever the defense is giving us, we try to take. Some nights – a lot of nights – it’s Brook early, and then as the game wears on, they try to find Brook and boot him out of the game – the Hawks game – and they took him away early. Just every night is different, man. I don’t even try to figure out what’s going on. We just try to go out and play, execute, defend, rebound, and at the end of the game the stats show up and you come in and tell me what happened, and I’m trying to explain it.”
Hollins said of if he’s scoreboard-watching with the teams they are battling for the last playoff spot, “Well, I figured out in my mind what I think needs to happen, but you guys are all smart, so I’ll let you figure it out.”