Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Hawks 106, Nets 70
By Mike Mazzeo
WHAT IT MEANS: Owner Mikhail Prokhorov is lucky he stayed in Russia. The Nets were trounced by the Hawks, 106-70, on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center in what was their last home opener ever in New Jersey. Poor sellout crowd of 18,711 -- if only they could all receive refunds. Playing in the second half of a back-to-back for the first of 18 times this season, the sluggish-looking Nets struggled from the start and never recovered. In falling to 1-1 on the season, they scored just 30 points in the first half and trailed by as many as 39. After the Nets surrendered the first five points of the third quarter to fall behind by 27, fans began chanting “We want Dwight!” The chants continued. And they were loud. The Nets sure could use him.
TURNING POINT: The Nets opened up with three misses and a turnover on the first four possessions, allowing the Hawks to open up an 8-0 lead. Atlanta (1-0) cruised from there. More on this later.
WE LOVE HUMP: Everybody else may boo Kris Humphries, but Nets fans still love him. They gave him a loud ovation during pregame introductions, and later chanted “We Love Humphries” in unison with 7:44 left in the first quarter after Humphries converted a put-back dunk. The chants continued throughout the game. The 26-year-old power forward finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
ALL BY MYSELF: Deron Williams deserves better. The 27-year-old superstar point guard wasn’t great by any means, he just has no help around him. In 24 minutes, Williams had 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting with six turnovers. He was a minus-19.
HORRENDOUS START: Just when you think the Nets couldn’t start any worse than they did in Washington on Monday night, they outdid themselves. They misfired on 17 of their first 22 field goal attempts, had five turnovers and got killed defensively both in transition and on the perimeter. It all amounted to a 28-11 Hawks lead after the first quarter.
ROOKIE WATCH: First-round pick MarShon Brooks was one of the lone bright spots for the Nets. The 22-year-old shooting guard finished with 17 points.
MEM-NO: In 40 minutes to start the season, 32-year-old Mehmet Okur has scored just two points. He may not be the solution at center until Brook Lopez comes back.
STATS OF THE NIGHT: The Nets were outscored 8-0 to start the first quarter; 5-0 to start the third quarter; and 13-0 to start the fourth quarter. ... The Nets shot just 31 percent from the field, went 5-for-23 from 3-point range and committed 18 turnovers.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW, KID: South Jersey native Dennis Horner, the feel-good story out of camp, made his NBA debut in the fourth quarter. He drained a jumper for his first career points with 4:30 left.
UP NEXT: Let the D-12 trade rumors continue! Nets at Magic, Thursday at 7 p.m.