Loyer's NBA Coaching Debut a Loss
March 22, 2010
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Monday at the IZOD Center, the Nets lost to the Heat, 99-89, after scorching the Nets 27-14 in the third quarter. The Nets, up by one at halftime, couldn't cut the lead to fewer than six points. Brook Lopez finished with a team-high 26 points, and Terrence Williams put up nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 23 minutes before leaving the game with a sprained ankle. X-rays were negative.
For the full recap, read Bob Considine's story on NBA.com: Click Here
Loyer's Coaching Debut a Loss
Before that, Loyer had subbed for Bob Huggins one time while at Cincinnati, back when
Monday night at the IZOD Center, his NBA coaching debut proved less successful, as the Nets lost to the Heat for the third time this season, 99-89. The Nets started with crisp, attacking offense and led by a point at halftime, but were undone in the third quarter, when they shot 6-for-19 as Miami reeled off 27 points to take a 12-point advantage into the final period.
“I don’t think about (debuting),” Loyer said. “I think about those 12 guys in the locker room. Looking those guys in the face the last couple days, with their will to win, these guys want to win, these guys want to play, they want to compete. And I feel bad for them, but I told them they’ve got nothing to hang their heads about – they came against a playoff team and one of the elite players in the league, Dwyane Wade, and gave it everything they had.”
With Nets coach and GM Kiki Vandeweghe away from the team in California indefinitely as he deals with his mother’s illness, Loyer had a practice to prepare. He said pregame that while it was a big jump to slide from lead assistant to head coach, his routine didn’t change, only the amount of control.
The practice and shootaround Loyer supervised were spirited affairs as the team sought to rebound following a pair of end-to-end losses against the Hawks and 76ers. Just 12 games from the finish, there was no major adjustment for the players to make.
“We’ve been with John all year long,” said Nets point guard Devin Harris, who finished with 16 points, four rebounds and six assists. “We’ve been through the ups and downs with him and we’re comfortable with John. We know what he’s capable of. We liked the offensive sets he put in. He gave us a (good) movement. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but like I said, we’re comfortable moving forward with him if that’s the case.”
T-Will Hurt, But Hopes to Play Wednesday
Scary moment for the Nets halfway through the third quarter, when rookie swingman Terrence Williams landed awkwardly on his left foot and rolled around in pain for several minutes. Yi Jianlian had set a screen, and Williams split the defenders, but was whistled for a charge when he careened into a third as he took off for a layup.
Williams eventually popped up and ran – grimacing, with a pronounced limp – off to the locker room. X-rays came back negative, though after the game Williams acknowledged spraining his ankle and the top of his foot, saying both were swollen. Wearing a protective boot, Williams declared his intention of playing Wednesday (assuming the Nets’ training staff approves), claiming he’s a quick healer.
“I told ‘em I don’t even wanna wear this boot – I already got (work) boots on,” Williams said. “But they made me wear it anyway. If it’s up to me, today’ll be my only day wearing it.”
The injury precluded Williams from racking up his first career triple-double: he’d tallied nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists in just 23 minutes. Once he’d reached the locker room, he caught wind of how close he was while watching the TV broadcast.
Williams admitted he was disappointed upon finding out, but chalked it up to the game and seemed confident another opportunity would present itself. For now, Williams will have to settle for building upon an 11-game stretch of success in which he’s averaging 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists while shooting .433.
The rookie is proving a dynamic addition to the starting lineup, allowing Devin Harris to play off the ball in some sets and offering another player capable of initiating the transition offense. He’s also provided several momentum-swinging plays, like Monday’s 47-foot, halftime-buzzer-beating three.
The previous bucket was deflating – several Nets collapsed on Dwyane Wade, forcing the Heat’s star guard to pass off to Quentin Richardson, who missed a three as a defender closed out. Wade squirted in between rebounders to tip in the miss, breaking a tie and putting the Heat up 52-50 with 3.1 seconds on the clock.
The Nets inbounded to Williams, who turned upcourt before Jamaal Magloire’s presence and the shot clock induced him to pull up. Hanging in the air, his one-handed heave arced off the center square and through the net, leaving the Nets with the slimmest of halftime leads. Williams slyly avoided revealing whether he’d called the bank.
“We practice them,” he said, smiling. “(My teammates) get mad when I shoot them, but today I made one.”
Brook Lopez scored a team-high 26 points (8-14 FGs), but pulled down only one rebound…Kris Humphries (9) and Josh Boone (8) combined for 17 rebounds off the bench…Courtney Lee started the game shooting 5-of-5, scoring 13 first-quarter points, but missed five of his final six attempts, finishing with 15 points in 30 minutes.