Analysis, Game Recaps

Recap: Nets 103, Pelicans 105

Before we get to the game, let’s all the Brooklyn Nets fans to close their eyes and give thanks…

To the month of January being over.

February could be worse, and it might be. But the All-Star break is coming up and it is the shortest month in the calendar.

The Brooklyn Nets have mercifully ended the month of January, in which they lost Jarrett Jack for the year with an ACL injury (What’s worse is that it was the Boston Celtics game, the team who gets the Nets’ first-round pick. Hey, Boston! Lighten up, will ya!), fired Lionel Hollins and reassigned Billy King on a Sunday morning, lost to Deron Williams’s new team with him actually on the floor, and finally losing a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Pelicans, 105-103.

Brook Lopez, probably still irritated by his All-Star snub, destroyed the Pelicans to the point of 33 points, ten rebounds, three steals, and four blocked shots. He missed five free throws, but we are starting to get picky here. THIS is what the Nets signed up for with this guy, giving him the big extension in the offseason. Furthermore, Lopez might be scoring at his best clip of the season. He has tallied point totals of 33, 28, 13, and 31. Here’s the stat that may show that Lopez is starting to “get it”: Lopez finished with ten rebounds or more and at least one blocked shot in all of those games.

Breaking News: Brook Lopez had plenty of help! Thaddeus Young teamed up with Lopez to dominate the Pelicans’ front line with 16 points and eight rebounds. Plus he was effective at winning time, scoring eight-straight points in the final two minutes of the game and topped the run off with a dish to Lopez with 32 seconds left. Lionel Hollins may be gone, but his vision with the combination of these two working together down low was shown at least for one night.

Wayne Ellington actually led EVERYONE in the building in scoring with 14 points going into halftime before finishing with 18 points. What’s more important to the Nets, Ellington dropped five three-pointers which helped Young and Lopez become even more effective down low.

Shane Larkin has been found! He was missing ever since the New York game. Larkin came of the bench to score 13 points and dish out six assists. Joe Johnson scored ten points, but it had to be the loudest ten points in quite awhile. More on that later.

Jrue Holiday led New Orleans with 26 points in only 24 minutes (more on him later), and Ryan Anderson scored 24 points in 26 minutes. After a horrific first half, Anthony Davis finished with 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. What does this mean?

The Brooklyn Nets can’t put a complete game together. In a game where offense was efficient (nine three-pointers, good bench play, and only ten turnovers) the defense goes on vacation. After going into the half up seven points, the Nets were outscored, 27-15, in the third quarter and gave up 34 points in the last frame.

Covering this team brings out so many emotions… anger, frustration, sadness, depression sometimes.

Well, this game introduced confusion.

Anthony Davis returned to the Pelicans’ lineup from a concussion and shot like he still had one in the first half. Davis missed his first ten shots in the game. He looked like he was cast as the Tin Man in The Wiz in the first half, and scored the same amount of points as I did writing this recap and you taking the time to read it. Then Davis came out and knocked down his first four shots scoring 12 points in the third quarter and finished 9-13 for the second half.

The Brooklyn Nets are going to have to figure out a way to stop opposing guard play. Holiday smoked the Nets coming off the bench, but Norris Cole and Bryce Dejean Jones combined for 20 points. Donald Sloan had a shooting performance like Anthony Davis in the first half but the only problem is that Sloan’s performance continued through the game. He didn’t score a field goal and finished with two points… UGH!

The proof was in the later stages of the fourth quarter. Holiday scored seven straight points to close out the game.

Let’s go to the final stages of the game with 32 seconds left…

Jrue Holiday found himself with the ball with the shot and game clock winding down and dropped a three in the Nets’ mug to put the New Orleans Pelicans up by three.

Then Joe Johnson went “Joe Cool” one more time and splashed a deep three to tie the game with six seconds left.

WE’RE GOING TO OVERTIME! WE’RE GOING TO OVERTIME! One stop and five more minutes!

Nope. This is the Brooklyn Nets, people.

I’ve got to give Thomas Robinson credit. Lord knows he was ALL OVER Jrue Holiday when he shot that fadeaway. He literally did everything but foul him.

Maybe the Brooklyn Nets’ season is summed up in this sequence: Jrue Holiday knocks down a 17-foot fadeaway, going to his right with Thomas Robinson’s hand in his face with about a second left and NO TIMEOUTS! By the time the ball went through, Holiday’s momentum carried him into the Pelicans’ bench.

The ball ends up in Joe Johnson’s hand at half court and he throws the ball, baseball style, at the rim. The ball BACK IRONS off and the Nets lose.

I wrote an article about a month ago about how unfairly Joe Johnson was being treated based on his contract compared to Kobe Bryant.

Games like this one shows why.

Joe Johnson played an outstanding floor game for the Nets. To go along with his 10 points, Johnson grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists to only one turnover. Plus, when the Nets needed a big shot, Johnson gave them one and was willing to take the final one and almost miraculously made it. Johnson may retire at the end of the season, but Brooklyn Nets fans should appreciate this dude just as much as Bryant is being appreciated on the west coast. Joe Johnson has been horribly misused this season, but he has not complained one bit. He just goes out and does his job like a professional.

The Nets take on All-Star Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons on Monday at the Barclays Center.