This night had nothing to do with the Nets. The loudest cheers were “KO-BE! KO-BE!” as you-know-who walked to the scorer’s table in the fourth quarter. I’d bet the #24 Lakers jerseys in Barclays Center outnumbered any player’s jersey worn in any game at Barclays Center, ever.
So it only stood to reason that it was Kobe Bryant, he of the inefficient shooting numbers, the laughably airballed three-pointers, and not just the hints but the screams of his demise permeating every second of his poor play, hit the game-clinching free throws in front of his home road crowd at Barclays Center, the same crowd that chanted “M-V-P!” as their aging hero gave them hope like it was 2004.
No individual Nets performance stood out as particularly poor, outside of Jack’s missed shots. But that was the problem. Nobody really stood out at all.
The Nets remain winless, and they don’t seem to have any power to stop the train. This was supposed to be their shot: at home, against arguably the worst team in the league. It turns out that was the case. Just for the Lakers instead.
Requisite scoring numbers, posted up a lot against smaller defenders, defended the rim, didn’t get involved in the fourth quarter. You’ve seen this Brook Lopez game before.
He reminds me in some ways of Gerald Wallace, in that he makes his impact on offense in every way but actually putting the ball in the basket. There were possessions where Hollis-Jefferson fed teammates on quick passes inside, chased down loose offensive rebounds, and made a defensive impact that’s now becoming standard. He does not remind me of Gerald Wallace in hair, voice, or temperament.
The caveat, of course, is that Hollis-Jefferson is still a long way away from an NBA-level offensive game. (He did get a tip-in on an offensive rebound credited to Thaddeus Young.) But consider this: if Hollis-Jefferson was a talented scorer as well as this good a defender, there’s no chance the Nets could’ve gotten him on draft night.