For the second straight game in this series, the Nets were outplayed. They have lost game three of this seven game set, by a final score of 79-76. CJ Watson had a chance to tie the game up with a three at the end of regulation, but he airballed it- which was sort of a microcosm of the entire game.
The Nets best performer was once again Brook Lopez, who finished with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and an astounding 7 blocks. However, Carlos Boozer also had 22 points, but he had 16 rebounds. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson also scored pretty well, with 18 and 15 points respectively. However, they were extremely inefficient in doing so, hitting only 11-28 combined. Past the big three for the Nets, they did not receive help from anyone else on the team offensively. Andray Blatche was the 4th leading scorer with 7 points. The team shot 34.6% from the field, which is not very good. However, there was a silver lining in this performance, at least from my view.
The fact that they were able to stay within three points despite playing so poorly shows that they do have talent. However, it has to be put out on display. There's no excuse for how poorly they've played the last two games, so if they want a shot in this series, they need to be able to shoot more effectively in game four. Obviously the offense from Lopez, Williams and Johnson will be expected (if Johnson is playing) but you'd like to see guys like Blatche, Watson and Brooks. Williams is going to have to shoot a better percentage if he wants to will this team into the next round from this point, especially if Joe Johnson is going to be hindered by his plantar fasciitis for the rest of the way. Deron Williams signed a max contract to be the centerpiece of the Nets, and 18 points, 4 assists, shooting at 35.7% just isn't good enough against this elite defensive team.
The next game in the series is Saturday at 2 PM. Will the Nets level the series, or will the Bulls take the 3-1 lead? Let me know!