NJN@MIL 12.29.07

Nets Edge Bucks

The Nets (14-16) trekked to the Bradley Center in the Great White North to see what they could do against the ornery Bucks (11-18). The frigid clime didn\’t bother them as they nipped the pride of Milwaukee, 97-95, for their second in a row (back-to-back) and fourth victory in the last five games.

The Bucks, led by PG Mo Williams (24p, 6a), SG Michael Redd (37p) and hot-new international star, rookie PF and 7-footer Yi Jianlian (12p, 8r), from China, gave New Jersey all it could handle. Still, the veteran savvy of the Nets along with their Kiddie Corps prevailed once more.

In another close one throughout, the Nets finally took the lead for good at 90-88 with 55 seconds remaining on a reverse layup by SG Vince Carter to start the close-out. PG Jason Kidd followed by drawing an offensive foul against SG Michael Redd with 41 seconds to go to add to the shift in momentum.

That led to a PF Malik Allen 8-foot jumper that went down (assisted by Carter) and put New Jersey up by four with 23 seconds to play. The rest of the game was nothing more than a tense free-throw shooting contest (for the most part) by an assortment of Nets that saw New Jersey prevail on the strength of the lead they nursed.

Fortunately, the \”Big Three\” came alive when needed and just in the nick-of-time, during the waning moments of the fourth quarter, to seal the victory. Jason Kidd (17 points and 15 dimes), in continuing his redemption from the Detroit game, hit some huge shots throughout the game and some very big treys from beyond the arc to pull ahead when things were tight in order to seal the ultimate victory.

Still, in games like these, every last play contributed by your \’mates is a factor in the outcome. Fortunately, for New Jersey, they got just enough.*

It could be argued that the 27 seconds of playing time in which newly called up reserve SF Billy Thomas hit two foul shots won it for New Jersey. It could also have been reserve PG Marcus Williams\’ four points in 5:16 that was the difference.

Once again, the \”Big Three\” of Kidd, Carter and SF Jefferson got it done with big games from each. BUT, this victory would not have been possible without the production from the \”Kiddie Corps\” front line AND the rest of the team.

There were, of course, contributions throughout for New Jersey. The Nets got the anticipated production from Kidd (near triple double), Carter (23p, 7a, 4r) and Jefferson (19p) to go with balanced production from the rest of the starting cast and bench.

The Nets, as a whole, shot fifty-percent from the floor … holding Milwaukee to only 44%. New Jersey edged the Bucks in rebounds, 40-to-37, but lost the battle of turnovers, 17-to-9.

The saving grace for the \’men-from-the-swamp,\’ though, was that they out-assisted the Bucks by a whopping 31-to-19 margin with future Hall-of-Fame PG Jason Kidd, of course, leading the way. Solid production from the Kiddie Corps (14 points, 19 boards and a pair of blocks) and from the bench (24 points and 11 rebounds), that included everyone from SF Bostjan Nachbar (8 points and 3 boards in 16:58) to PF/C Jamaal Magloire (7 points and 4 boards in a little over ten good minutes), was just enough.

The Nets are now 7-of-12 on the road as they head down to Orlando Wednesday to face C Dwight Howard and the surging, Van Gundy-led Magic (20-11) to try and atone for their huge \’loss of face\’ in their last meeting, November 17, that was an embarrassing 95-70 blowout in favor of the Magic. It will be televised regionally on ESPN, as well as locally by YES, and kicks-off at 7:00pm EST.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *