By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Nets’ bench has done the job so far this season, and Sunday’s game at the Sacramento Kings was no exception. Andray Blatche and MarShon Brooks were key parts of Brooklyn’s 99-90 win, their fifth in a row.
Andray Blatche had an incredible game, as he scored 22 points on 11-for-12 shooting.
Blatche was run out of Washington for numerous reasons, including behavioral problems as well as reporting to training camp out of shape last season.
He has been a great addition to this team, rewarding the faith that General Manager Billy King had when he brought him in this offseason.
MarShon Brooks had 14 points, and nearly shot perfect as well, making five of six baskets.
Brooks had seven points down the stretch, including a three-pointer with 50 seconds left to give Brooklyn a 93-82 lead.
Joe Johnson was huge down the stretch also, draining six free throws in the final 37 seconds to seal the win.
C.J. Watson has provided a lot of spark off the bench, notably on opening night against Toronto on November 3rd. Another instance was on November 11th against the Orlando Magic when he had a three-pointer followed by a steal that led to a three-point play, basically a six-point possession.
Watson had 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting on Sunday afternoon.
Jerry Stackhouse played 15 minutes, and failed to score on Sunday, but the memory of his game-tying three-pointer with around six minutes left against Boston on Thursday still lingers. He is a proven playoff performer and acts as a coach to the younger players.
The starters had tough games from the field. In the backcourt, Deron Williams scored 14 points, but shot just 4-for-12 from the field. Joe Johnson had 10 points on a tough night of 1-for-10 shooting with eight free throws.
The frontcourt was not much better, as Brook Lopez had 13 points on just 5-for-14 shooting. Kris Humphries had just six points, but is becoming a big-time rebounder with 10 once again.
The Nets are now 6-2 and are starting to look like the team that was hyped in the lead-up to the season. They have a tough test Tuesday night when they travel to Los Angeles to face Mike D’Antoni’s Lakers.
One storyline in that one will be the matchup between the Nets’ Brook Lopez and Los Angeles’ Dwight Howard, who was close to being traded to Brooklyn numerous times for Lopez.
This rivalry was highlighted by Shaquille O’Neal before the season, when he declared Lopez one of the best centers in the league and did not mention Howard: