I thought the circus wasn’t supposed to be in Brooklyn until Thursday?
While the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey get set for nine straight performances at the Barclays Center, the Nets did the honorable thing and brought the home fans some of that Yakety Sax, no rules, slapstick entertainment early, but without any of the high-flying excitement a circus typically brings. Despite all the positives they displayed on Friday against the New York Knicks, the Nets just seem incapable of stringing two efforts together in the slightest.
The Nets matched their total turnover amount from Friday (7) in the first half alone as they were battered by offensive fouls from Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, and Thaddeus Young. In fact, Lopez had such bad luck on the foul side of things that he played just 13:25 before halftime. Without Lopez, the Nets were left to their own volition to score which, as we all know, can end up being a tad ugly.
Again, Yakety Sax — are you still with me?
Another stinker from the bench is always frustrating, but simply unacceptable with Lopez forced from the floor. Aside from a strong six minutes by Willie Reed, in his first minutes since January 26th, it was a flat effort from all sides. A 14-point deficit dwindled to just 4 before a Nic Batum buzzer-beater — but Johnson was a small saving grace for Brooklyn. With 13 points on 4-4 from the floor, he was the only factor keeping the floundering Nets afloat.
The second half brought much of the same: inefficient shooting, poor pick and roll defense, and the desire to pass right into Batum’s lengthy wingspan. However, perhaps in spite of all that, the Nets found themselves down just 13 thanks to Lopez’s contested heave from near mid-court to end the third quarter.
Alas, all that glitters is not gold, sorry, Smashmouth. Including Lopez’s prayer, Sloan, Johnson, Ellington, and Bogdanovic all hit one three-pointer each. That’s not enough to beat any professional basketball team, much less one with an above average defense and the advantage of Kemba Walker vs. Donald Sloan. Quickly, a tight game turned into double-digits and you know the rest by now.
5-22 from three. Yuck.
I’d suggest they spend some time listening to Smashmouth’s Astro Lounge on the plane ride out West. The 1999 hit All Star follows up the aforementioned glitter lyric with some sound advice:
Only shooting stars break the mold.
Against Charlotte, the Nets were not shooters, nor were they stars.
Enjoy the Yakety Sax, they’ve earned it tonight.
12 PTS, 5-12 FG, 2 REB, 3 AST, 1 TOV
It’s kind of strange that one of the long-lasting legacies of Lionel Hollins’ stint with the Nets might end up being:
Dude, why didn’t you play Markel Brown even a little bit?
On another torrid bench night, Brown helped make this game stay within striking range until it wasn’t.
17 PTS, 4-6 FG, 3 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 2 TOV
4-6, little bit of this, little bit of that. We’ve talked about it before, but why haven’t the Nets considered using him as a point forward? Sloan + Larkin combined for just 4 assists, after all.
Has Johnson found a tiny water fountain of youth?
14 PTS, 6-10 FG, 8 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 6 TOV
Hello, it’s me…
THAD WITH THE REVERSE SLAM https://t.co/7DKe3L88e1
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) February 21, 2016
…from the other side (of the rim).
OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Young struggled against the elderly Marvin Williams and the rookie Frank Kaminsky. But, when it mattered most, he remained opportunistic and hungry.
However, it’s tough to look past the 6 turnovers.
(Thanks to Anthony for the Vine!)
9 PTS, 2-8 FG, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2 TOV
28 points, 11-18 from the field.
Oh, that’s Kemba Walker’s statline for the night.
No bueno from Sloan, no matter how hard he may try.
16 PTS, 7-12 FG, 1-1 3PT, 10 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 2 TOV
With 7 points and 5 rebounds in the first quarter, you might think — hey, great start for Brook Lopez, huh? And, somehow, you’d be both right and wrong. Lopez was pretty good defensively, although he allowed the just-recovered Al Jefferson to heat up rather quickly. On the other end, he was 3-6 from the field, but suffered two airballs after forcing it up against Cody Zeller and Jefferson.
Overall, good or bad, it hardly matters as the Nets desperately needed those points. Although some questionable foul calls rooted him to the bench early, he brought the mustard in the third — culminating in Lopez’s third career hit from downtown.
WHAT DID LOPEZ JUST DO? https://t.co/bUNyYFfjWZ
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) February 22, 2016
His first antitrillion of 2016 + six assists ain’t bad either.
(Thanks to Anthony for the Vine!)