It is impossible to get a bead on this Nets team. Two nights after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers with one of their best all-around performances of the season, the Nets enter a Sunday afternoon against the Lakers and play down to their tanking competition, nearly blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead against one of the league’s worst teams.
Luckily for the Nets, the Lakers aren’t good enough to steal a victory away on the road. Any win is a positive with the Nets looking to regain footing in the Eastern Conference playoff race. But this kind of effort doesn’t bode well for more difficult competition. Unless, of course, you throw this game out and focus on the fact that the Nets put together their best win of the season two nights ago. Who knows which Nets team will show up?
The stats: 30 PTS (13-22 FG), 11 REB, 1 AST, 4 BLK
This is the type of team Lopez should have an easy time with: Tarik Black is an undersized defender, the Lakers allow boatloads of points in the paint, and Lopez drops in bunnies with a soft touch. Lopez went inside time and time again and put up another efficient game from the floor. He had trouble fighting Jordan Hill on the glass, but without Lopez pouring in the points against this team, the Nets drop a stinker.