On Brook Lopez bobblehead night, the force was most certainly not with him.
Perhaps it was Lopez trying to shine on a special night, or maybe he was looking to redeem himself after his poor showing against the Los Angeles Clippers — either way, it didn’t work. While the team as whole struggled to contain the young, athletic Orlando Magic and chase them around screens and cuts, all eyes were on Lopez, just not for the right reasons. Lopez had one of his worst offensive games of the year, but it was made worse by simultaneously getting crushed by Nikola Vucevic and his smooth post-game on the opposite end.
A slow first quarter gave way to a stubborn second; but a sloppy third turned into a blowout fourth. However, this was staunchly different than the loss to the Clippers because they hid no pretense of potentially pulling this one out. Sure, the Nets were somewhat sloppy, but 16 turnovers is nothing to write home to Alderaan about. Heck, they even shot three-pointers like a generally healthy team that plays professional basketball (7-19 3PT%), but, boy, this one was brutal, wasn’t it?
Earlier today, there was some suggestion that Thaddeus Young would be an attractive piece for a contender come February’s trade deadline. And, for a team like Brooklyn, who do not control their first-round draft picks for a very long time, trading Young for any type of assets might be attractive. Now, I’m unsure if such a move would be good for the Nets’ franchise, both now or later, but one thing is for certain: without him, the Nets would be, if they’re not already there, one of the NBA’s worst teams.
At the end of the day, no, the Nets aren’t supposed to beat teams like the Clippers, who are perennial contenders in the Western Conference, but against teams like the Orlando Magic, they should probably do better than this. While there’s little chance that the Philadelphia 76ers will catch Brooklyn (just 1-24), the Nets will be disappointed that they’re now 0-4 against the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, and Magic — the three teams closest to them in the Eastern Conference cellar.
Yes, the Nets were never going to set the world on fire, nor were they likely to even make the playoffs — but, can we at least expect them to win some of their few winnable games?
With the help of some Star Wars inspired game grades, I tried to describe the monotonous, slow death march the Brooklyn Nets sustained throughout all four quarters tonight.
Is it Thursday yet?
The stats: 11 PTS, 4-15 FG%, 6 RBS, 1 TO
There is no Star Wars-related comparison for Brook Lopez because The Brooklyn Game knows how much this will weigh on the Nets’ franchise center anyways.
There are no jokes because Lopez forced his way to a brutal 4-15 shooting night while Nikola Vucevic absolutely roasted him on the other end. For years, even mentioning the iconic movie franchise has been synonymous with the nerdy seven-foot center, so when the Nets announced that December 14th would not only be his bobblehead night, but he’d be a Jedi Knight on Star Wars night, the excitement was, quite literally, palpable.
It’s obvious that tonight likely meant a ton to Lopez as a human, so it’s sorely disappointing Lopez as a basketball player did not have a great showing.
However, there is some good news: they’ve already announced three more Star Wars movies. Whoever the Nets play on Star Wars: Rogue One night circa December 2016, watch out, this Wookie will be back with a vengeance.