Thoughts on the Game: Sasha Vujacic 103, New Orleans Hornets 101

Your New Jersey Nets are actually 13-13 at home. That’s pretty good. Well, it’s good when you juxtapose it with the team’s 3-24 record on the road. Wednesday’s game was just more support that the Nets are a competitive basketball team at the Prudential Center.

But the star of this game wasn’t the arena. It wasn’t Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, Avery Johnson, Mikhail Prokhorov, or Carmelo Anthony. The star of Wednesday’s game was none other than the Machine.

Sasha Vujacic.

It was just last Friday that I adored my recap of the Nets-Pistons game with an animated gift of Sasha’s vicious shoulder, and while he will probably never fully redeem himself for every wrong he was responsible for while playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s making a surprisingly capable effort to do so.

Sasha finished the night with a career-high 25 points (basically a quarter of the team’s entire offensive output), 15 of which came on threes dispersed throughout the game that were crucial parts of the Nets’ victory. In fact, without his five points in the overtime period, the Nets probably drop this game.

With Jordan Farmar back in the lineup, it appears that the Nets are always going to have at least one Anthony Morrow show up: Sasha Vujacic or Anthony Morrow. Morrow was decent Wednesday, putting up 15 points on 15 shots, but Vujacic stole the show in the spot-up shooting role. Having two dead-eye shooters on the same roster like that is a very powerful asset to have … when a team is actually competitive. Moving forward, if the Nets decide to re-sign Sasha, which I have mixed feelings about, Sashony Morrowcic could play an important role down the line.

But what about the second star in this game? David West was a horse. That man played all 53 minutes for a team not coached by Don Nelson. What an impressive accomplishment. Not only that: he had the nice cherry on top of 32 points and 15 rebounds. But that’s small potatoes next to all those glorious minutes!

I will say, though, that if your starting lineup includes Aaron Gray, Willie Green, and Sasha Pavlovic — and Chris Paul decided to don his distributor cap that night regardless — David West had better score. And even with his superb effort on offense, the Hornets only mustered 91 points by the end of regulation.

That is especially surprising considering the torrential downpour of threes that Marco Belinelli and the Heartbreakers unleashed on the Nets. They shot 12-of-23 from downtown! It goes to show what a negative effect even associating with Jason Smith can have on a franchise for your team to shoot so well and only pick up 91 points.

Aside from Sasha, no one on the Nets really did anything out of the ord —

OH, WAIT. BROOK LOPEZ HAD SEVEN REBOUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, that’s about seven more than anyone expects him to get nowadays, but before we crown him the next Moses Malone, let’s look at the facts here: (1) This was an overtime game, and he still only had seven; (2) He didn’t have a single rebound after the eight-minute mark of the third quarter. So, by all means, resume the joking. He is out of no funk.

But other than that, no Nets really did anything out of the ord —

OH, WAIT. TRAVIS OUTLAW HAD A SOMEWHAT EFFICIENT SHOOTING NIGHT!

No, he didn’t put on his Steve Nash suit and drain crazy off-the-dribble threes, but he did have 11 points on nine shots, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. This brings me to a new phenomenon I’ve noticed that I will call the Outlawl Effect: this is the notion that a player’s shot form looks much better when the resulting shot goes in. When it doesn’t, the form looks hideous. Obviously, Outlaw really demonstrates this. In comparison, take someone like Ray Allen, whose form looks beautiful regardless of whether he makes the shot.

But aside from that, there was nothing really out of the ord —

OH, WAIT. DEVIN HARRIS ONLY SCORED TWO POINTS.

Fair enough. That’s kind of normal these days.

But failing all that, this game was pretty stan —

OH, WAIT. JORDAN FARMAR HAD 11 ASSISTS IN HIS FIRST GAME BACK FROM INJURY!

Jordan Farmar’s quality game is attributable to one thing and one thing only. The hair. Over the past couple months, Farmar has slowly but steadily been letting his hair grow out to its UCLA length. Remember how Jordan Farmar was actually good at UCLA? Maybe he has finally figured out that the NBA is all about your do and not at all about your talent. Just ask Robert Swift or Walter Hermann. Wait. What?

To end, here’s my first joke of the recap. The likelihood that Stephen Graham checked into Wednesday’s game during overtime was probably lower than the chance that Jason Kidd checked in.

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