We’ll go hunting for comic books in all of New York’s nooks and crannies. We can spend hours not talking about basketball. It’ll be fun!
The gist of it.
Okay, I stand corrected. Not only did I not think the Nets were going to win tonight’s game, part of me was hoping they wouldn’t. I was sick of seeing this team get beat up, thrown around, grinded out. The Nets won in Game 1 fashion and here I am, back to Game 1-level optimism. The playoff beard remains unshaven.
The Nets referred back to their “semi-transition” offense that Devin and I talked about in our podcast from Friday, the offense that was successful in Games 1 and 4. They weren’t stuck all night playing to the Bulls’ tempo, didn’t get sucked into the force that is Joakim Noah, and didn’t rely on the heavy Joe Johnson iso, even though it did make a few pleasant cameos throughout the evening.
I’ve been a Nets fan for too long to not see this coming. It was supposed to be Brooklyn: All New. New players, new coaches, new stadium, new jerseys, new city, new fans, new hope, new money, new winning, new chants, new ticket prices, new playoffs.
And yet, why does this series feel like the most classic of scenarios in possible Nets playoff runs?
(Screw the format; a game like this calls for something a little more shapeless.)
What do you say about a game like that, which lasts over four hours and ends with a dagger putback made by a second string center? I don’t know; I stopped taking notes somewhere around the fourth quarter, ditching any trenchant observations for a steady string of FOIHEUIBJRKVE)FIHUIRBHJV as the game turned from careful execution to the commercial-ready, YOLO-infused back-and-forth defining tense playoff contests, or at least anything where Nate Robinson plays a defining factor.
Chris is joined by Devin Kharpertian (@uuords) of The Brooklyn Game to break down the first three games of the Nets-Bulls series, the Billy King extension, the future of PJ Carlesimo and more.
Amusing that Stackhouse keeps a Twitter alert for his name, but so much better that he doesn’t hesitate to call a couple of young bucks out for showing a lack of respect. How is Cancun, Jared?
The gist of it
Since we’re a night of sleep’s removed from the end of that dreary loss, I won’t belabor the point too much; the weather is nice, it’s a Friday, and there’s no reason to linger on a nightmare. But boy, what a crummy game of basketball that was. Save for a flare-up at the end where the Nets were somehow close to sending the game into overtime after three-and-a-half quarters of cellar-deep offensive efficiency, it was a deeply abysmal thing to watch; at one point, the Nets missed 25 out of 26 shots en route to shooting 22% in the first half, and at some point it stopped being about what they weren’t doing to get open shots—they had them—but how and why this team is out of mental sorts half the time, lobbing lazy passes and whiffing air balls as everyone on Twitter switches to the other game. They didn’t break the record for fewest points scored in the first half, at least. Small victories!
The gist of it
We should be terrified, yes? The Brooklyn Nets had a chance to seal a homecourt advantage against a vulnerable Bulls team they’d laid out in the last game, but instead crapped the bed: their offense was unsettled, their defense gave up made jumpers to Nazr Mohammed, their stars were temperamental and could never find a rhythm nor plausible comeback after getting as close as four toward the end of the fourth quarter, when the Bulls had let their 14-point lead lapse and expand and lapse again. They could’ve gotten within one score, but Joe Johnson couldn’t hit a third straight three-pointer in the game’s final minutes—the nerve!—and the Bulls ground it out from there.
Next to seeing Mariah Carey in concert, getting a haircut is the best spiritual experience you can pay for. What other safe spaces exist to physically and metaphorically rejuvenate you to a fresher, sharper self? Being that this was Brook Lopez’s first career playoff game, I was little surprised he came out wearing his characteristically scruffy mini-afro rather than the sleeker fade he’d shown during All-Star weekend, since there’s no better time to showcase the dedicated you than a hyped up playoff blowout.
At the Nets practice after the game, I asked if he’d considered getting a playoff ‘do. “No, I didn’t. I’m too lazy, honestly,” he said. “I’m just focused on the game.” (Then he laughed, in obvious appreciation of my intrepid reportage.) There’s always the second round!
The gist of it
What sequence best summed up the narrative redemption of Brooklyn’s Game 1 victory over the Chicago Bulls? A Barclays Center standing ovation preempting a Deron Williams runner at the end of the first half to push the lead to 25 points? Deron streaking for a breakway two-handed reverse jam in the third, tabling any talk once and for all that he’d dropped a step during an up-and-down tenure with the Nets thus far? Andray Blatche, attempting to intercept two passes intended for his teammates—and actually catching one of them? For everyone who hadn’t caught a Nets game, it was all there: the unclear home crowd proven strong, the uncertain superstar made good, the individualist gunner holding onto a few endearing bad habits. All of it congealed into a runaway success, a blowout win over one of the Eastern Conference’s mainstays over the last few years.