In what was the team’s best chance at escaping Atlanta without a loss, the Nets opened the night stuck in traffic on the way to Philips Arena because of — you totally guessed it — a farm convention, specifically “the world’s largest annual poultry, meat & feed industry event of its kind.”
But tragically, the Nets bus made it to the arena well in time for the game, with no issues pushing back the opening tip between Mason Plumlee and Hawks center Al Horford.
The Nets played one of their most complete games of the season, defending a tough team well for stretches and creating open shots. Despite that, they never really stood a chance, and the Atlanta
Phoenixes Hawks picked up their seventeenth straight victory Wednesday night even with the Nets playing one of their best efforts in recent memory.
Seriously, this was an impressive effort for the Nets, given where they stand today. It’s hardly a beacon of hope for title contention, but it’s something: they played toe to toe for most of 48 minutes against what’s arguably the best team in the NBA right now. That’s something, even if it’s not much of anything.
The stats: 18 PTS, 6-11 FG, 7 REB, 2 BLK
Up-and-down stint for Lopez: struggled to get going in the post, hit a nice floater in the paint, casually swatted away Dennis Schröder shortly after getting scored on by Mike Scott, set rock-solid screens and kept his scoring in or near the paint, but also struggled to get out and defend shooters.
In a slight upset, Lopez is slowly rounding into his usual form… Just in time for the Nets to explore the trade market.