Just in case you were wondering whether or not the Nets would keep the good times rolling after one of their best performances of the season — the answer is a resounding no.
And really, what else is there to say about this half-hearted and sloppy effort? The Nets notched 11 turnovers in the first 12 minutes, digging themselves into a nice 24-12 deficit against one of the few NBA teams potentially worse than them. As an alternate angle, consider this: in the first, the Nets scored one less point than the Sixers have stars in their thirteen colonies-themed logo.
In the second, the Nets looked more lively on the scoreboard, but it was purely by coincidence as the Sixers joined in on the turnover game (10 in the half on their own accord) and the two combined to make basketball look like rocket science. The Nets, lead by Wayne Ellington’s 9 points, somehow, against all odds, trailed by just two.
Despite the generally poor effort from the Nets, they hung around in the third thanks to Thaddeus Young’s inspired 14-point quarter but with both teams accruing more turnovers than assists, neither side could get a definitive foothold on the game.
Markel Brown, usually tethered to the bench, was the Nets’ catalyst at the guard position tonight — surging to a 15 point, 3 assist, and a steal line on a perfect 5-5 from the field. With Ellington, Shane Larkin, Donald Sloan, and Bojan Bogdanovic all having their fair share of cold games, there may be room for Brown to work his way back into the rotation after all.
Down the stretch, however, the Nets went to their usual suspects, which meant plenty of Lopez and the substitution of Joe Johnson, Ellington, and Sloan. Johnson, shooting a poor 2-8 following his decimation of the Kings, couldn’t get things going and Sloan was destroyed by TJ McConnell, Philadelphia’s undrafted point guard.
Ultimately, it cost them.
After scrapping their way back into the game, Brown deferred to the starters and it just simply did not work out. Sandwiched in between two baaaaaad Johnson misses, Sloan turned it over for the 4th time as the 76ers pushed it to a two-possession game. The Nets are, obviously, going nowhere this year — but after a mostly terrible night, it was tough to see Tony Brown so willing to go with the tried and (sometimes) true method.
TL;DR — the Brooklyn Nets lost to the Sixers and it was their own damn fault.
The stats: 17 PTS, 5-11 FG, 5 REB, 1 BLK, 2 TOV
Let’s just agree to forget about Brook Lopez’s miserable 4 point, 2-turnover, and a struggling-against-a-rookie first half. OK, on the same page? Great.
The second half was met with instant improvement as Lopez awoke in a flash, doing the usual how-did-he-make-that-and-1 and his general assortment of floaters.
Either way, he didn’t do much in stopping Jahlil Okafor (22 points) or Nerlens Noel (18) and we’ve come to expect better from the center.