Last night there was a basketball game scheduled between the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors. I don’t think anyone alerted the Nets, because they never showed up.
As for the guys wearing Nets’ jerseys in Toronto and participating in some kind of athletic exhibition last night which featured the Raptors scoring 70 points in the first half, and getting 60 of their total 118 points in the paint – it’s hard to seriously sit here and recap their performance. The Nets had a very winnable game on their schedule, with the downward spiraling Raptors losing 4 of their last 5, and came out of the gate with no energy, no defense, no offensive cohesion, and no fundamentals. Brook Lopez (14 points, 8 rebounds), who has looked like an emerging superstar as of late, resembled a struggling youngster, picking up two quick fouls in the game’s first two minutes. He left with the Nets trailing 9-4, he returned in the second quarter with his team down 39-15. The Raptors had shot 67 percent from the field while the Nets struggled to hit 37 percent of their shots, and turned the ball over 7 times to boot.
Starting at the 5:16 mark in the first, the Raptors made six consecutive shots starting with a 17-footer by rookie DeMar DeRozan (16 points). The Nets called a 20-second timeout, and came on the floor looking confused on offense and ended up settling for a missed 16-foot jumper from Sean Williams – who was only in the game because Brook, Josh Boone and Eduardo Najera had picked up two fouls each. While Williams ended up having a nice game (10 points, 5 rebounds), I’m guessing that Kiki Vandeweghe and the rest weren’t planning on riding him in that fashion to stem the tide of the Raptors’ onslaught.
Chris Douglas-Roberts was trying his damnedest out there to keep it competitive, going for 16 points on 7-12 shooting. He even had the honor of shooting the first free throw for the Nets for the evening – at the 4:12 mark in the second quarter. At least he was taking it inside and drawing contact. The same can’t be said for anyone else who suited up for the game.
On the bright side, Nets fans got to see Chris Bosh up close tonight, who absolutely killed the Nets in the opening 4 minutes, scoring 8 points quickly, all on the inside. He finished the game with 16 points and 8 rebounds in 26 minutes, leaving Nets fans dreaming about how much money it might take to get him over here next season as the starting four, flanking Brook Lopez. Hey, a boy can dream.
A few final thoughts of the atrocity after the jump:
- A few days after my Devin Harris analysis, my opinion of him has gone from curious to concerned. Just another abysmal evening, 8 points on 4-12 shooting and no free throw attempts. Harris is in the shooting slump of his life right now, so if he can’t get to the free throw line either, he’s rendered pretty useless. When will the real Devin Harris step up, or is this the real Devin Harris?
- Courtney Lee (11 points, 5-12 shooting), is still missing a ton of open jumpers.
- Rafer Alston (13 points, 4-13 shooting) is still missing a top of open jumpers.
- Somebody check Josh Boone for a pulse. He scored two points and committed 4 turnovers and basically sat for the entire second half. The guy looked comatose out there.
- Kiki looked ridiculous in that purple shirt tonight.