After trailing by 26, the Nets had the ball in the final seconds with a chance to win the game. Deron Williams was ready to receive a pass from Andray Blatche after he missed his second free throw intentionally. Williams was standing behind the three-point line getting set for a three that could potentially give the Nets a one point win after the game appeared over. The Nets point guard would have a chance to make up for an awful game and a series where he has been completely outplayed by Kyle Lowry.
Then the pass from Blatche sailed away, just like the series has for the Nets.
The Nets were resilient, storming back in the fourth quarter to tie the game, but it wasn’t enough. The Raptors took a 3-2 series lead, with Game 6 coming up Friday night in Brooklyn. It’s win or go home time for the Nets. Their backs are up against the wall. This is the time where they hope the trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett come to fruition. Both weren’t on the court the entire fourth quarter, when the Nets made their run.
The issue is that the problem has lied in their $100 million point guard. Williams has been nowhere to be found in the three losses in this series. It’s embarrassing how badly Kyle Lowry has outplayed Williams in this series, and the Nets won’t stand a chance if it goes the same way in Game 6. Lowry scored a playoff career-high 36 points Wednesday night, while Williams scored just 13. With all the playoff experience the Nets point guard has, you would think he would show up in these meaningful games. Everyone has questioned whether the expensive guard could lead the Nets in the backcourt, but he continues to fade away in the biggest moments.
The Nets need to get off to a better start Friday night in front of their home fans. This team finally came alive in the fourth quarter, after being absent for the first three. Joe Johnson can’t carry this team himself, as he essentially did in Game 5. Pierce needs to do what he did in Game 1. Garnett needs to avoid getting abused in the paint. Brooklyn must play team defense, as Coach Kidd has tried to preach this series. The season isn’t over yet, but the Nets must put the pedal to the medal now. With the Eastern Conference up for grabs, this team has got to find a way to get past the Raptors. There is no question they have the talent and experience to do it, and hopefully Game 5 was a reality check. The Nets will need their fans to be louder than ever in Brooklyn in Game 6, or it will just be another disappointing first round playoff exit.