In NBA preseason action, visiting Turkish club Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul defeated the Brooklyn Nets 101-96. The Nets were still shaking off some rust, while their visitors looked sharp and well into regular season form. Nets coach Lionel Hollins dismissed the loss and chalked it up to his team needing more practice.
“We fought, we battled, we played hard, but we can’t turn the ball over 19 times and give up 20 second-chance points,” Hollins said. “We also missed 19 shots in the paint, so this is a good barometer and baseline to start from. We’ll go look at film to get back to work, and move forward.”
Jan Vesely continued his strong play from his stint in Eurobasket 2015. The Nets’ defense was suspect as Vesely pretty much had his way around the basket, shooting 9-of-14 from the field, en route to his game-high 18 points. He looks like he will be up for a good 2015-16 season. Former Detroit Piston Luigi Datome lit up the scoreboard from downtown (4-6) and chimed in with 16 points of his own.
Brooklyn managed to start off well, carving out a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter. Fenerbahce Ulker answered in the second period and headed into the halftime break with a four-point advantage. After the break, the guests continued their spirited play and stretched their lead to 10 points with one quarter left in the game. The Nets tried to rally in the final frame, but the boys in yellow did enough to hold on to their lead and seal up the victory.
New off-season addition, Thomas Robinson was an eye-opener for the Nets. He was active on the offensive and defensive glass and finished with 16 rebounds to his name. Brook Lopez played solid in 23 minutes of action with 18 points, four rebounds and four blocks.
The Nets need to improve in several areas before the season starts, while Fenerbahce Ulker will be a team to watch both in Euroleague and Turkish SBL action this season.