The Nets didn’t play down to their competition, they rolled out a red carpet on a waterslide and dove head-first. This 76ers team gave them every opportunity to take over, whether it was careless unforced turnovers, missed dunks, open shots allowed, or dumb fouls, and the Nets kept it interesting by giving them as many mistakes as they got, taking bad shots, running bad plays, and allowing the 76ers to steal this one away.
The Nets are in a bad spot right now. Deron Williams is out. Brook Lopez isn’t 100%. They only have one NBA-caliber point guard. Their best players are undeniably limited and flawed. But this 76ers team is made up of D-League castoffs and NBA prospects, and the Nets, with the game on the line, turned to a 28-foot fadeaway from Brook Lopez, who has never made a three-pointer in a regular season game.
They exited the court, not just to boos from fans in Barclays Center, but also to this simple fact: they’ve hit rock bottom.
I don’t blame him for taking that last shot. I blame the idea that he should be catching the ball 26 feet from the basket with three seconds left.
Interior help and pick-and-roll defense are not his strong suit.
His mid-range jumper is a legitimate weapon, and he’s making more of them, which is promising. But he’s also getting very few shots right at the basket that don’t take a lot of pushing and bruising in the post, and those have been low-percentage shots.
Lopez did start getting more going in the post against Furkan Aldemir and Nerlens Noel in the third quarter, an encouraging sign for his post-up play.
Going into tonight’s game, Lopez had taken a career-high 23.9 percent of his two-pointers from 16 feet and out. Though he’s a good jump shooter, hitting around 45 percent of his attempts thus far this season from that range, ideally he’d be getting more of his shots at the rim.