On Jewish Heritage Night at Barclays Center, a group of Nets dancers shot t-shirts from a cannon whilst riding hoverboards to a techno remix of “Hava Nagila.”
The fact that I’m leading a Nets-76ers recap with this bit of trivia might give you a sense of how breathtaking the actual on-court product was.
It would make sense that a game of this, ahem, quality was dominated by Andrea Bargnani, who led all players in points and shot attempts. This game was Andrea Bargnani in a nutshell: quick isolations, turnovers, and shoddy defense permeated the night, on both ends of the floor, and the Italian Stallion galloped away with the victory, holding off a 76ers comeback one fifteen-foot fling at a time.
The 76ers are a professional basketball team, largely because the organization is contractually obligated to play the games. They have a few prospects with potentially bright futures, a whole host of league-minimum fringe NBA/D-League players, and a boatload of first-round draft picks. This is their Process: be as bad as possible now, with the hopes of being As Good As Possible Later.
Enough people have waxed poetic about The Process and Its Merits and Its Detractions that I will spare you my thoughts on it to merely say: this is a cruddy, misfit collection of professional basketball players, and the Nets could barely put them away, losing a 16-point first-half lead due to farcical defense, rebounding issues, and a general lack of offensive execution.
But a win’s a win, right?
“Foul Trouble” is no longer just the name of his buddy-twin sitcom with Robin. Lopez struggled to get into an offensive rhythm all game, picking up two quick fouls in the first quarter and two quicker ones in the third.
It was only in the fourth, with the chains a little loosened, that Lopez was able to make a few plays, scoring over Jahlil Okafor in the post and playing well off Thaddeus Young.
But with Andrea Bargnani taking shot after shot, Hollins elected to keep Lopez on the bench in crunch time.