They departed Atlanta without a victory commensurate with their talent. They had the chance to win Game 2. With only seconds left in the game, we’re screaming, “Get the ball down low to Brook Lopez.” He was there, at the basket, wanting the ball, but there with enough foresight to also hope and pray for Deron Williams’ long jumper to hit.
It didn’t. Clang! In and out! Back to Barclays Center, Atlantic and Flatbush. Brooklyn, down two.
Despite their four regular season losses to the Atlanta Hawks, the Brooklyn Nets have been able to run with the Hawks in this postseason, almost winning playoff Game 2 in the Dirty Dirty, winning Game 3 and 4 here, at home. Game 4 was an overtime thriller Monday night, tying up Round 1 of this playoff series, two games a piece, taking it back to Atlanta, then returning home to Brooklyn for Game 6 tomorrow (Friday).
“To me, this is what playing this sport is all about. We came out, we took some shots and we battled back. It was a dog fight,” said Brooklyn head coach Lionel Hollins. His remarks were in reference to Monday’s victory though indicative of this series thus far and not understated.
Unlike the Toronto Raptors, a four seed, and the Boston Celtics, a seven, Brooklyn, an eight, the lowest of the seeds, and going against a one, has not rolled over like the two aforementioned teams. Referencing a Jay Z lyric, “I think they’ve gotten their swagger back,” especially Nets point guard Deron Williams, who has had some not-so-stellar playoff performances during these past several days before turning it around, hitting 35 points and giving 7 assists Monday.
Stated Atlanta’s All-Star center Al Horford, “We understand and we know that Deron is capable of doing that, and you can only contain that type of player for so long. He had three not so great games. He came out tonight (Monday), and he was the difference.”