DET@NJN 12.26.07

One of the best teams in the league – ranked #1 in some polls – invaded the Meadowlands yesterday in the guise of the Detroit Pistons and dispatched the Nets rather handily, 101-83, after toying with them for a half or so. Detroit is the kind of team that, if you give them an opening, they will exploit it to the end, and keep pounding you into submission – until you succumb in a heap.

To their credit, the Nets played the Pistons even for the first half. They hung tough in building a six-point lead in the second before going down by one at the half, but they started showing signs of \”letting go of the rope\” to start the third.

When you establish a lead, you have to be willing to protect it. Not only did New Jersey fail to do so in closing out the second quarter, but they started letting go when things didn\’t go well against the opponent to start the third.

None the less, there were many encouraging signs for New Jersey as they battled well in stretches. The Nets are still adjusting to an entirely revamped front line.*

Detroit took over in the third and the Nets were pretty much \’deep-sixed\’ the rest of the way as it\’s impossible to play catch-up against a team like the Pistons. Credit their starting cast of PG Chauncey Billups, SG Richard Hamilton, SF Tayshaun Prince and C Rasheed Wallace for closing the door.

The positive to take away for Nets\’ fans is that the entire squad was severely tested by a superior team and learned more about playing with one another. Experience like this will prove invaluable at bringing out better in the \”men-from-the-swamp\” in the not-too-distant future.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2007 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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