An intensely frustrating game. It didn’t feel as though the Nets were particularly outplayed (unless you consider Damian Lillard hitting 29-footers and double-clutch three-pointers “getting outplayed,” which, fair), but the Nets couldn’t put down open three-pointers.
That’s really it. You can break down the game film and show some issues with the defense (they were there), you can point to some rushing iso-ball (which absolutely happened), you can rail about how the bench couldn’t knock down a shot on a four-foot hoop (100%), but at the end of the day, the Nets don’t miss their first 17 three-pointers and they win this game.
With that said: this was a golden opportunity to steal a win on the road against an undermanned team, missing two of their best players, and the Nets instead head back home winless on a three-game road trip and under .500 once again.
The stats: 21 PTS, 10-17 FG, 4 REB, 2 STL
If today was an indication of anything, it was that the Nets, or perhaps just Lopez, went back to basics with how the center was used, recognizing that he’s much more effective when he’s their safety valve on offense, the benefactor rather than than the creator.
He is not all the way back yet. Not the way his twin brother so easily grabbed rebounds around him. But there were flashes of the decent-defender-natural-finisher Lopez that the Nets need him to be.
But he probably shouldn’t take mid-range jumpers anymore.