Starting Five: Building on D-Will, Johnson

May, 7, 2014
5/07/14
9:00
AM ET
The Brooklyn Nets may have been outclassed in their 107-86 blowout loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, but their backcourt was not.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 17 points, while combining to shoot 14-for-21 from the field -- including 6-for-11 from 3-point range.

SportsNation

Worried about the Nets?

  •  
    23%
  •  
    77%

Discuss (Total votes: 8,398)

Williams hit a pair of buzzer-beating 3-pointers at the end of the second and third quarters to keep the Nets afloat. He was moving well after recently receiving a pair of injections in his left ankle, though he struggled defensively against Mario Chalmers.

Johnson, the team’s best player in Round 1, started to get into a rhythm in the second quarter, when he scored eight points. Johnson also hit back-to-back shots late in the third, but it was too little, too late.

Still, it’s something for the Nets to build on. Brooklyn shot 47.1 percent from the field and went 10-for-24 from 3-point range, but Nets coach Jason Kidd felt like his team’s offense was too stagnant.

While the Heat were driving and making things happen in the paint, the Nets were settling and taking too many shots from the perimeter.

Much had been made of Brooklyn’s regular-season sweep of Miami, but the Heat were far-and-away the better team in Game 1.

The two-time defending champions mean business, and they came out and showed that the playoffs are a whole different animal.

Brooklyn’s lackluster performance has to concern its fanbase. Still, if the Nets could somehow leave Miami with a split, it would allow them to get over their Game 1 debacle.

Question: How concerned are you about the Nets right now? Let us know in the comments section below.

In case you missed it: Perhaps you may want to delete this game from your TiVo. LeBron James played like the best player on the planet, and the Heat dominated from start to finish. Plus, more on the blog.

Stat to know: According to ESPN Stats & Information, James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined to hold the Nets to 33.3 percent shooting when guarding their man. The Nets shot 48.8 percent when guarded by any other members of the Heat.

Up next: The Nets will hold practice on Wednesday. They need to make A LOT of adjustments.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
15.4 0.6 0.5 26.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsM. Plumlee 6.8
AssistsD. Williams 6.2
StealsT. Young 1.1
BlocksB. Lopez 1.6