Nets get obliterated by Rubio, lose 5th straight game, 100-85


Final: 12/20/2015

L 85 100

The Nets, trying to win one of their few winnable games left in the 2015 calendar, welcomed the Minnesota Timberwolves for a Sunday afternoon matinee. However, the Timberwolves embody the type of team the Nets have most struggled with since they moved to Brooklyn: young, fast, and intelligent. These teams, often willing to switch, swap, and throw deceiving looks, tend to befuddle the Nets at every corner. To make matters worse, these teams know that they can push the floor with reckless abandon and finish with above average success — so, if a team were loaded with quick, deft forwards (Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgi Dieng), talented wings (Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine), and an electric point guard running the show, that team might be the Brooklyn Nets’ worst nightmare.

Enter: Ricky Rubio.

Thanks to Andrea Bargnani’s abysmal interior defense in the first quarter, Rubio quickly created a rapport with Dieng as the duo absolutely anhiliated the Nets to the tune of 21 points and 11 assists in the first half alone. And, unfortunately, once you get a team’s 3rd and 4th options rolling like bonafide All-Stars, it just makes it all that much easier for Towns and Wiggins to operate without attention.

Basically, today was not easy for the Brooklyn Nets in any sense.

While Rubio was tearing the Nets’ interior defense apart, Brooklyn struggled to find open looks and only stayed alive thanks to, gulp, Bargnani’s 10-point first quarter. In the second half, the bad times kept rolling from Brooklyn’s perspective and the running gag of the Nets growing stagnant came back in full force. Juxtaposed by the galloping, dizzying Timberwolves offense, the Nets’ flat-footed attempts were a bit harder to swallow tonight than usual.

It’s almost as if falling behind by a few buckets can destroy the Nets’ fragile determination and creativity in a moment’s notice.

And when Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, and Jarrett Jack combine for a miserable 8-30, this Nets team would’ve had trouble beating even the lowly Philadelphia 76ers this afternoon.

With the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic on the schedule between now and the New Year for Brooklyn, they’ll be disappointed to lose by 15 to a 10-17 basketball team.

Brook Lopez


The stats: 20 PTS, 8-11 FG%, 12 RBS, 5 ASTS, 1 STL, 4 TOs

Admit it, you wish Brook Lopez would try to dunk over dudes more often.

It’s OK, me too.

Coming just a few days after Lopez’s disappointing outing against the Pacers (although he seemed pretty upset about The Force Awakens so we’ll give him a break on that one), he showed up for this matinee ready to go toe-to-toe with that NBA’s best KAT. Towns, a large man, came into today’s game averaging 2 blocks, good for 6th in the NBA, but he struggled to contain the creative center in white.

However, this grade is largely representative of Lopez’s incredible passing, including a cross-court bounce pass through the paint into a perfect Wayne Eliington three-pointer. We like this talented passing version of Lopez — stick around, why don’t ya?

Now, back to your regularly scheduled Brook Lopez dunk sandwich!

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson



Tight hair, Rondae — OBJ would approve.

Get well soon, rook, the Nets clearly miss you.