Starting Five: The start of something big?
January, 3, 2014
By Matt Ehalt | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Sue OgrockiCan Brooklyn build on Thursday's shocking win over the Thunder starting Saturday against Cleveland?When the Nets went into Oklahoma City on Jan. 2, 2013, and upset the Thunder, it began a seven-game win streak that seemingly turned the Nets' season around.
Thursday night, the Nets once against shocked Oklahoma City with a 95-93 win on Joe Johnson's buzzer-beater. Now, it's time to see if this game can galvanize the Nets.
Here are some reasons to be optimistic after Thursday's win:
Deron Williams gave them the lead late. Far too often this season, the Nets have not shown that type of resiliency. Could this be a newfound toughness?
Deron plays like a superstar: After a few mediocre weeks, Williams had his best game of the season Thursday. He scored a season-high 29 points and hit a season-high six 3-pointers. He hit the shot to put the Nets ahead late, and later boosted the lead to four. If the Nets are going to win the Atlantic Division, Williams has to play like an elite point guard. He did so against OKC.
Strong game for Kirilenko: In his second game back, Andrei Kirilenko played quite well, scoring nine points and getting to the line for four free throw attempts. He's one of the X factors for the Nets, and due to his injury, the Nets have barely had him on the court this season. If Kirilenko can become a bigger part of the rotation, and continue to play well, it will boost the Nets in the second half.
Question: What stood out the most to you in Thursday's win?
In case you missed it: The Nets beat the Thunder 95-93 on Johnson's buzzer-beater. ... The Nets went with a small starting lineup against the Thunder. ... Williams is playing through an injury.
Up next: The Nets host the Cavaliers on Saturday.