In the Brooklyn Nets' final ultimately meaningless game, played in a building that was architecturally ancient on building day, the Nets took yet another preseason game to overtime. The final call in both final frames ended in failure, as MarShon Brooks flailed towards the basket with no avail as the clock ran down. Brooks foolishly expected a referee, playing a meaningless game in Hempstead, N.Y., to give these respective reserves a chance to play even more mediocre preseason basketball.
For those of you anguished by this final preseason loss, do yourself and your psyche a solid and take no inference from the crunch-time play in this contest for one reason and one reason alone. The Nets did not play a starter for the final 11:43 of the game. MarShon Brooks, for all his glory, will never take that last-second shot in a meaningful game with this roster. The supposition that he will is predicated on the idea that, even in the unlikely event that he is in the game with the Nets' current wealth of offensive talent, the playcall would be "MarShon Brooks iso." Brooks, for all his scoring talent, is fighting for a reserve spot on a roster with an entrenched starting lineup. There are at least seven players at this point more likely to see the floor in crunch time. If Coach Johnson does fall into the folly of pushing late-game isolations -- he did say that he "liked the shot" -- MarShon will not be the go-to scorer.
Despite the final score, some additional scattered thoughts:
- Avery Johnson said before the game that two of his major keys were the team's pick-and-roll and transition defense. Transition defense seemed to work: the Knicks got zero fast-break points all game (though there was one stretch in the second quarter where Ronnie Brewer plucked the ball from MarShon Brooks' fingers and got a layup on the break). The pick-and-roll defense (without checking the numbers) seemed much stronger when the starters were on the floor, but fell apart once the reserves came in.
- Nassau Coliseum is not a basketball arena. Aside from clocking in at roughly seven degrees, the arena's built into the ground in the middle of a parking lot miles from a metropolis. From the outside, it resembles a museum dedicated to alien landings that hasn't been open on thirty years. It's not difficult to understand why the Islanders are moving to Brooklyn.
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