Saturday, December 22, 2007

Game 27 - A Complete Game, with Character, no less

Golden State comes in, not having beaten the Nets in the Meadowlands since 1997. However, after an abysmal (and Steven Jackson-less) 0-6 start, they've won 15 of their last 20 and are 8-6 on the road. They like to run and are averaging 109 pts per game. Have the Nets even come close to that this season?

Time was when coming to NJ meant a track meet. JKidd likes to run, and so did Kittles, KMart and RJ back in the glory days... Now the radio announcers talk about the Nets having to keep up with the Warriors.

A surprisingly good start while I fiddle in unexpected cop caused traffic. My son and I walk into the arena and the Nets have a 24-14 lead with a minute or so to play. Pretty soon it's 24-17 and I meantion to my son, oh boy, here we go, another weak finish to a quarter. Instead the Nets nail a 3 and have a 10 point lead after one. At home, no less.

And they keep it up, playing good D. They shooting pct is a Net-like 40% but so is the Warriors'. And with a little more than one minute to go, they're up by a gaudy 14.

But, as I say, there is a little over a minute left. And by halftime the lead has been halved as well, Nets up 52-45. I want to know why Lawrence Frank had not figured out that the needs to coach the ends of periods differently...

All during halftime I fretting. GS gets the ball. Score. Nets give it up. GS scores. 11:14 to go in the 3rd and it's a 3 point game.

Sure enough, that's exactly how the 2nd half started. And more. Pretty soon it's a one point game. This is starting to look like all the other bad home losses.

But the Nets show character and close out the 3rd up 8. Can they hold an 8 point lead?

No. With 3 and change minutes to play the Warriors bury a three and lead a point, 93-92.

Then 95-92 and GS has the ball! Oh no, not another pathetic example of the famous Coach Frank burning up your time outs once the game is out of reach - for the other team.

But then something really strange happens - the Nets show character! They score the final 8 points of the game, play great defense, and pull out the win in regulation!

This is finally a quality win at home over a quality team. A complete game, end to end, with the exception of the end of the 2nd quarter.

Two in a row:
- an overtime road win
- a solid home win over a quality team

Can we get 3 (vs Detroit)?

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