A glaring missed opportunity with playoff positioning on the line.
Consider that the Nets created a surprising number of open looks against a long, talented Bucks defense. Then consider that the Nets missed a shocking number of said open looks, most pronounced during a third-quarter drought, when the Bucks turned a two-point halftime lead into a blowout. Then consider the stakes: the Bucks guaranteed themselves the sixth seed in the playoffs, and the Nets fell to eighth, with an uphill climb out of their hands if they want seventh.
Ideally, you respect the process over the results, and the process was good for much of the game — just look at all the open looks the Nets generated. But at this point in the season, the execution of that process to its final stage — actually making a basket — means everything. The Nets didn’t do that, and it’s a blow to their playoff hopes.
The stats: 12 PTS, 3-8 FG, 6-7 FT, 10 REB, 2 STL, 1 BLK
Scored his requisite first-quarter points, but it took a 20-footer in the third before he finally passed his former coach Jason Kidd for fourth on the all-time scoring list in Nets franchise history. He was clearly distraught when taken out of the game, perhaps knowing the Nets had blown an important opportunity.