Yeah, they won. But if they were upset about an eight-point win over the Orlando Magic, I can only imagine how they feel about this one.
The Nets rocketed out to a red-hot start, hitting three-pointers, open mid-range jumpers, and layups galore, as the 76ers appeared to have trouble simply passing the ball around or even dribbling. If Nets-Spurs was an exercise in Varsity (Spurs) vs. JV (Nets), this was like JV vs. the freshmen team for the first 12 minutes.
Yet, slowly but surely, the Nets fell closer and closer into the inevitable pit of bad decisions, throwing out poor isolations, letting Philadelphia’s athleticism get the better of them on 50-50 balls and double-teams, and letting what’s arguably the worst team in NBA history hang around until the final buzzer.
The stats: 19 PTS, 9-12 FG, 7 REB, 3 BLK, 6 TOV, 5 PF
Fell into some frustrated late-game patterns, leaving the floor after a dubious offensive foul call gave him five on the game. He had a right to be upset, but he’d also put himself in that position by committing four fouls in the first place. Still thought he played well enough to earn his sixth foul.
Hey — it’s not like Nerlens Noel is a nobody. Lopez took full advantage of an otherwise depleted 76ers frontline to get five quick rebounds, hit two wide open mid-range jumpers and otherwise controlled the paint without incident in the first half.
Struggled with double-teams in the second half, which led to a continuation of some sloppy first-half turnovers, but also dropped in easy buckets and sent back a big block late in the fourth quarter. But