Nets Show off Euro Ball in Beijing, Beat Kings in OT
BEIJING – In the capital city of China, the Brooklyn Nets unveiled their version of Euro Ball on Wednesday night.
Mirza Teletovic of Bosnia, and Bojan Bogdanovic of Croatia, two players who are expected to figure prominently in the team’s offense this season, put on a gorgeous display of basketball that had the sellout crowd in MasterCard Center oohing and aahing.
The Nets’ bench was pretty impressive as well in a 129-117 OT win over the Sacramento Kings. The Nets are now 3-0 in the preseason.
Teletovic, No.33, and Bogdanovic, No. 44, kept making the Sacramento Kings pay for doubling down on defense. By the end of the first quarter the Nets had a 32-21 lead by scoring 11 field goals off 10 assists.
“It was awesome ball movement,’’ said Nets Coach Lionel Hollins. “It was fun to watch."
The Nets had a chance to win it in regulation. They had the ball with 10 seconds left but Mason Plumlee’s pass to a wide-open Willie Reed under the basket went off the reserve center’s hands and out of bounds with 0.9 left.
Omri Casspi’s long jumper missed and the teams went to overtime, which was as welcome as getting stuck in Beijing traffic at rush hour.
Led by Mason Plumlee, the Nets took over. Sergey Karasev hit a jumper off glass and a 3 to seal the win.
But the story was the ball movement, which was fueled by two players that know a thing or two about Euro Ball.
Teletovic started at the power forward in place of Kevin Garnett, who got the night off. He showed a post-up game we rarely saw last season.
Bogdanovic made his third straight preseason start at shooting guard and also wasn’t afraid to go down low.
The result was a three-minute-and-30-second stretch that saw the Nets surge to a 25-16 lead. It went like this:
* Bogdanovic got the ball on a break and found Teletovic cutting the lane. As soon as Bogdanovic’s pass met Teletovic’s hands, he touch-passed the ball back to Bogdanovic for a layup.
· Teletovic posted up, and when the Kings’ defenders shaded to help, he found Joe Johnson at the top of the key. Johnson
whipped a pass to Bogdanovic, who drained a 3.
· Teletovic posted up and drew a second defender. He found Bogdanovic on the weak-side wing. Bogdanovic hit Lopez going to the basket for a layup.
· And finally, Johnson, out of a double team, found Teletovic behind the arc for a 3 and a 25-16 lead.
The Nets are going to look to establish Brook Lopez at the start of every game. He opened the scoring on a layup off a sweet Deron Williams’ assist.
But when teams try to take away Lopez, the Nets have the skill and high basketball IQ to move the ball like a checkers expert.
Teletovic had 22 points, his highest total in the preseason. Bogdanovic also had a preseason-high with 11.
CHINA SYNDROME – After missing the game in Shanghai because of illness, Coach Lionel Hollins was back on the bench.
Alan Anderson, who missed the first two preseason games with a strained abdominal muscle, saw his first action.
Williams played the game with light tape on his lower right thumb.
FREE MASON: Mason Plumlee struggled from the foul line last season but early in overtime he drained two free throws, giving the Nets a 116-112 lead. Plumlee scored the Nets’ first 10 points in OT and drew a key offensive foul.
LOPEZ CHANNELS HIS INNER DAVID DIAMANTE: Nets public address announcer David Diamante has a signature call. When the Nets are awarded possession, Diamante declares, “Brooklyn ball!” Then he ratchets it up a notch, “I said Brooklyn ball!’
Lopez was the Nets’ player who welcomed the sellout crowd in MasterCard Center. Lopez said “Ni Hao!” That translates into “Hello China.” Lopez wasn’t satisfied with the crowd’s reaction. He repeated, “Ni Hao!” The crowd went crazy.