Nets hang around but can’t top Hawks in 99-92 Game 1 loss

By on April 20, 2015

Kyle Korver drains a three-pointer and celebrates as Nets' Bojan Bogdanovic looks on.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Kyle Korver drains a three-pointer and celebrates as Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic looks on.

Joe Johnson, the former Hawk who was bombarded by boos each time he touched the ball, missed 11 of his 17 attempts. Deron Williams only had two assists in 33 minutes. Thaddeus Young committed four turnovers while missing nine of his 16 shots.

The Nets were smacked in the first quarter, falling into a 16-point hole while looking overmatched on both ends of the floor. Turnovers were the problem early, with the Nets committing 11 in the first half that resulted in 17 points for Atlanta.

The Hawks set the pace with their speed and athleticism, which Lionel Hollins warned about in his pregame press conference.

“If we execute on offense, the pace will be slow. If we turn the ball over, the pace will be fast,” he said. “I think that is shown in the games we’ve played against them. When we turn the ball over, we’ve gotten shattered. If we can take care of the ball, execute and score – we’ve missed a lot of chippies at times and we’ve missed wide open shots at times. If we score, it’s natural that we can get back on defense and the pace will just naturally slow down.

“We’re going to keep it at our pace. We want to play fast on offense but we don’t want to get up and down and get into a rat race.”

The Nets settled down midway through the second quarter, though, and that poise carried over following the break when they cut the deficit to 3 with a run in the third quarter. That transitioned to a four-minute stretch for Brooklyn without a bucket, and the Nets fell down by double-digits again before their “To impose your will, to me, is the biggest thing,” Hollins said. “It’s a battle for 48 minutes and the minute you blink, you’ll be down 10. You have to stay after it, you have to make shots, you can’t turn the ball over.”

Jeff Teague breezes by Nets' Deron Williams as he drives to the basket.Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Jeff Teague breezes by Nets’ Deron Williams as he drives to the basket.

***

Mirza Teletovic was ruled out of Game 1 just two days after being medically cleared to resume contact basketball.

The 29-year-old, who had been treated with blood thinners until recently because of clots in his lungs, traveled with the Nets to Atlanta but simply didn’t have enough practices under his belt, according to Hollins.

“The guy’s been off for three months,” the coach said. “He’s had two practices. You can’t expect a guy to come out and play.”

The Nets have two more practices before Game 2, both at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Teletovic was originally ruled out for the season after the blood-clot diagnosis in January, but the Bosnian sharpshooter was cleared just before the playoffs.

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