These Nets-Bucks games at Barclays just can’t help themselves.
Maybe it’s fueled by the ghost of Jason Kidd’s coaching career. Maybe it’s just these two teams are perfectly matched for one another in Barclays Center. Maybe it’s just dumb luck that the Nets show everything they’ve got, for better or for worse, when their former coach comes to town.
There are moments where you see the Brooklyn Nets work in sync, when you think the Deron Williams-Thaddeus Young pick-and-roll can be an effective weapon, when Brook Lopez protects the rim on one end and fires a pass out of a triple-team to an open Joe Johnson for a three-pointer on the other, when Lopez ends a man’s game life on a posterizing dunk, when Bojan Bogdanovic oozes confidence and Jarrett Jack limits his mistakes.
There are also moments when it’s not clear just what the Nets are trying to do, when simple passes get picked off or thrown out-of-bounds, when lineups stick around for ten minutes at a time when they probably should play five, when their starting point guard — who had struggled, to be fair — stays glued to the bench for the final 12 minutes of regulation and the entire first overtime in lieu of the player with the team’s worst plus-minus by a Brooklyn mile.
The Nets have had little to hang their hats on this season. They’re drifting out of the playoff race without a draft pick to show for it. But finally winning one of these? They’ll take it.
The stats: 42 MIN, 32 PTS, 13-20 FG, 6-6 FT, 18 REB, 2 AST, 5 BLK, 1 TOV
It took until the third overtime until Lopez ended a man’s life with a dunk, but it happened, and holy Batman was it glorious.
Continues his weirdly dominant glasswork, partially fueled by the Nets lacking rebounders throughout the rest of their roster[note]Cory Jefferson excluded[/note], and threw in easy shot after easy shot in the paint.
But with the Nets mounting a comeback in the fourth, Hollins elected to keep Lopez on the bench for nearly ten minutes. Lopez didn’t have an impact in those final possessions as the Nets went to overtime. But without Lopez fighting the entire Bucks team for rebounds, the Nets don’t get this win.