Most of us get 15 minutes of fame. The Nets got 15 minutes of hope. At the end of the second quarter, they were a rimmed-out Joe Johnson heave from a three-point deficit. They’d overcome worse moments in this series to sneak out victories. There was some hope, if tempered, that this would again be a competitive game until the final seconds.
Fifteen minutes later, it was all over.
You don’t need to re-live those moments when everything went awry, but the gist of it: the Hawks starters put on their finest clinic of the series to open the third quarter, opened the half on a 23-3 run, and the suddenly-listless Nets had no response. Turnovers by Deron Williams, missed layups by Thaddeus Young, and missed defensive assignments turned a competitive series into a death march. This was the game most of us expected to see four times this series, but the Hawks only needed to pull it off once.
The Nets enter yet another offseason with more questions than answers, few draft picks and fewer certainties. Their biggest players are on the trade block or can opt out. Away we go. It’s been real.
13 PTS, 5-10 FG, 5 REB, 4 AST, 4 TOV
Looking forward to next year’s paper at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference explaining how Deron Williams pulled off a 35-point game in this series.
8 PTS, 2-9 FG, 1-5 3PT, 5 REB, 1 AST, 3 TOV
Committed basketball seppuku twice in the first quarter by letting Kyle Korver loose for two open three-pointers, and couldn’t run with him through most of the night.
12 PTS, 5-13 FG, 2-6 3PT, 6 REB, 6 AST
It feels like Joe Johnson gets at least 12-6-6 in his sleep.
7 PTS, 3-6 FG, 6 REB, 1 BLK, 3 TOV
Young strung together some good offensive possessions in the second quarter with the season seemingly slipping away, throwing up his usual crafty hook shots. But he couldn’t contain Paul Millsap, who looked as healthy as ever.
Still: the Nets would love to bring him back next year, and you can see why.
19 PTS, 7-15 FG, 7 REB, 0 AST, 1 BLK
Rough start for Lopez, who took more than one quick & fruitless shot in the first quarter, and though he made up for it offensively, the Hawks took advantage of his defensive shortcomings. Toss in a few ill-timed long two-pointers, and with the whole team floundering, that was all she wrote.
This might be Lopez’s final game in a Nets uniform.
6 PTS, 2-10 FG, 3 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
Did a much better job defending Korver than Bogdanovic, but was hardly the player that dominated Wednesday night off the bench.
11 PTS, 4-10 FG, 7 REB, 5 AST, 3 TOV
You can say he tried. You can definitely say he tried. No one will ever accuse Jarrett Jack of not trying. Succeeding, though, is another matter.