AP Photo/John Raoux
9-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 BLK | 12 REB | 19 PTS | +17
Another day, another double-double for Vucevic. He was physical inside with Brook Lopez, and had some nice defensive chemistry with Jason Maxiell early in the game. And although they didn’t all register as assists, he made a few passes for corner 3 attempts off the pick-and-roll, a pass that is ever so critical to the modern big man.
8-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 19 PTS | +11
Oladipo absolutely took over in the third quarter. He was a whirling dervish going to the rim, spinning off the Nets’ big men en route to uncontested layups. He even flashed his jumper, too. His defensive effort was on display once again as he hounded both Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston. There was also this ridiculousness. What a game for the rookie.
6-13 FG | 5-5 3P | 1 BLK | 11 REB | 17 PTS | +11
Nicholson’s barely into his second season as a pro, but he plays like a veteran. He tooled both the massive Brook Lopez and the quick-and-athletic Andrei Kirilenko in the post, and didn’t get knocked around on the other end. His aggressiveness and physicality on the boards was a pleasant surprise. Though the 3-ball didn’t fall tonight, he was confident shooting it and the form looked great.
5-14 FG | 3-5 3P | 6 REB | 8 AST | 16 PTS | +16
Afflalo didn’t have the most efficient game, but made up for it it in other areas. His passing was excellent and his drive-and-kicks were a big part of the Magic’s excellent offensive production in this game. He still looks out of place in isolations, but he’s a lot more comfortable on an island than he was last season and seems to have a bit more of a plan now.
This team sure didn’t look like a top-flight contender. Deron Williams was disengaged pretty much his entire time on the floor, Joe Johnson played 23 minutes and took five shots, and Kevin Garnett played just 22 minutes. The Nets’ offense was vanilla for a team with so many great players, and both Kirilenko and Garnett played poorly defensively.