Jan 13, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) battles for a ball with Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) during the fourth quarter in a game at Air Canada Centre.The Toronto Raptors won 132-113. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Brooklyn Nets‘ losing streak has extended to 11 games. For the third week in a row, we have no victories to speak of. Due to the unfortunate series of events, this week’s edition is a special one. For the first time, we are bringing you Slackers & Super Slackers.
In all fairness, this week’s schedule was tough for the Brooklyn Nets. The New Orleans Pelicans are greatly improved from the beginning of the year, and the Houston Rockets are one of the best teams in the league. Although the Toronto Raptors have looked faulty at times, they are still the second-best team in the East with 28 wins.
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However, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The Nets are not even a broken clock. They are a dismantled clock. A clock that has been sold for its parts. A clock that is good only for fire wood. They are a clock that may never tell time again. At least not for the next few years that is.
Although we knew the Nets would be bad this year, it doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it. From not top 10 plays, to three losses by double digits, the Nets are a new standard of rock bottom. The bright side is, things can’t get much worse than this.
Jan 17, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet (23) steals the ball from Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
How do you let Terrence Jones spin you around with a behind-the-back fake? To add injury to insult, Harris made Jones look like Pistol Pete Maravich. As Jones used Rajon Rondo‘s signature behind-the-back fake on his way to a wide-open layup, Harris looked like a deer in headlights. That was until he turned around and ran towards Buddy Hield at the three-point line.
What makes it worse is that even if it was not a behind-the-back fake, Harris wouldn’t have even gotten to Hield on time anyway. Harris sold out completely to run at the three-point shooter, and he wouldn’t have been close to contesting. Next time you decide to get faked out, at least let it be by Kyrie Irving or Stephen Curry. After that move, Jones might be selected for the NBA All-Star Game’s Skills Challenge.
Nets’ backup point guards
Cory Joseph is a fine player. However, on a night when Kyle Lowry is out, you can’t allow the backup to drop 33 points on your team. Not only did he drop 33, but he did so efficiently on just 22 shots. On the other side, the Nets’ backups combined for just 10 points and five assists in Jeremy Lin’s absence.
While Spencer Dinwiddie and Isaiah Whitehead are both still developing, they are still expected to perform. They did not face an All-Star point guard. The Nets didn’t even face a point guard that has ever made an All-Star game. They faced a solid backup. That solid backup helped hand the Nets their 11th straight loss with a career night.
When a superstar like Anthony Davis is out, life should be easy for the opposing front-court. That was not the case for the Nets. With Davis out, Terrence Jones stepped in and looked like an All-Star. He dropped 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker combined for 28 and 18 respectively.
If the Nets dominated the front-court battle as they should have with Davis out, they might have won the game. Instead, Jones almost singlehandedly outplayed Lopez and Booker. These are the types of games the Nets need to capitalize on. More specifically though, these are the nights where Lopez needs to assert himself.
As an upper-level offensive center, when a Defensive Player of the Year candidate is out, it is your game to dominate. Unfortunately, neither Lopez nor Booker stepped up. Because of that, the Nets went down.
A lot can be said for a team that plays with heart. A team with collective fight and pride can win games they should lose. Unfortunately, the Nets’ lack of collective heart doesn’t only cause them to lose the games they should. They get blown out in the games they should lose. This week, the Nets lost their four games by a combined 63 points.
What’s worse is that the Nets are becoming a team that others use for rest days. Davis sat out with injury during the Pelicans game where the Nets still lost by nine. In the second matchup against the Raptors, Lowry sat out for a rest day, and the Raptors still won by 10.
With All-Stars sitting out, it is evident the Nets have more than just a talent issue. They have a heart issue. The Nets no longer believe in themselves. They play as if they expect to lose. With that mentality, who knows when the losing streak will end.