There were smiles all around.
Those two nasty losses were finally in the rearview mirror Friday night, cast aside with a 107-68 pummeling of the Magic at Amway Center. The Nets were thrilled to take care of business against a team with a roster loaded with mostly unproven players, making that late-night flight from the Sunshine State back to Newark all that much more enjoyable.
“Winning is the cure all,” Jerry Stackhouse said. “Whatever is wrong, wining is the cure all. It’s not as cold, somehow we are even going to find some gas when we get home. If we lost, we wouldn’t have been able to find some gas. So I have a feeling that we are going to be able to find some gas. That’s just how it goes man.
“We bounced back and got a good taste in our mouth.”
On to the Three Points:
--* Brook Lopez set the tone from the game’s outset, coming out and establishing a consistent interior presence for the first time since dropping 27 points in the season-opening win over the Raptors a week ago. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for the Nets to play inside-out, and they can’t do that if the 7-foot center isn’t on his game.
Avery Johnson liked what he saw out of his big, man.
“He was good,” the coach said. “He was getting deep post position. He was holding his position. Deron did a good job of getting him the ball.”
Lopez was going up against a Nikola Vucevic, a guy who’s listed at 7-foot but certainly didn’t seem like that when he stood toe-to-toe with Lopez.
“I just wanted to help do the little things – rebound the ball, blocking shots,” he said, “and drawing people so you can kick it out to open guys.”
--* You have to like how the bench kicked in.
Take away the 16 points scored by Tyshawn Taylor, Mirza Teletovic and Toko Shengelia in extensive garbage time, and the Nets' bench combined for 39 points.
And what can you say about the lift Stackhouse gave them?
As we've said repeatedly, the Nets' bench is going to be one of the team's strengths, and when the second unit can provide a boost on both ends of the floor and be as productive as it should, the Nets are going to be in every game.
“I thought we got off to a good start,” Johnson said. “We were into the game mentally and physically, even though we were only up by two at the end of the first quarter. And then our bench came in and really dominated for us.
"I told Stack to be ready and he came out and made some threes for us and gave us a really big boost. Reggie Evans, Josh Childress played really good defense on [J.J.] Reddick. We know Reddick could be a problem for us. Our bench played well for us.”
--* Joe Johnson made the best point of the night when he said the Nets can’t take too much from a blowout win over the Magic. We do have to keep it all in perspective since, again, this all happened against a team that’s in serious transition and was without Jameer Nelson, Al Harrington and Hedo Turkoglu.
In short, the Nets handled business, which was exactly what they knew they had to do considering the circumstances. Now, it’s all about building off Friday's win and making sure they don’t have a huge letdown on the tail end of their back-to-back games versus Orlando.
“We’ve just got to have that mentality,” Deron Williams said. “We’ve just got to come out that same way, forget about this one just like we forgot about that 30-point loss. It’s the same thing. It’s a new ballgame. They are definitely going to be more motivated now after losing by 30, so we just have to make sure we come out with the same intensity, the same approach."