The Nets get blown out by the Magic in Brooklyn, 105-82.
After sweeping the season series last year, and defeating Orlando in every Barclays Center match-up in history, the Nets fell to the Magic in embarrassing fashion tonight. The team celebrated yet another bobble head game, combining the fanfare over the recent Star Wars film, and their lovable 7 foor center, to create an awesome Brook Lopez Jedi figurine.
Going in, I was sure that this celebration would spur a return to form for Lopez, who has been slumping recently compared to his early season play. However, Lopez struggled mightely in this game, going 4 for 15 from the field to total just 11 points. Unfortunately, the rest of the team didn’t fare much better.
While the first quarter was equal in scoring from both teams, the Magic turned up their top-ten defense late in the second, and the Nets floundered on both ends of the floor. In fact, it was difficult to pick a GOOD play to display in this post, as the Nets committed turnover after turnover and opted for terrible looks that clanged off the rim.
Orlando closed the first half with an 11-4 run, resulting in a 52-45 halftime score. They never gave up this lead, and it soon swelled to 26, as the Nets shot less than 40% in the second half. I must give the Magic the credit here – they played excellent defense, crowding the paint and allowing very few open three point looks for already poor three-point shooters. They completely threw off every Net, except maybe Thad Young.
It’s not a very promising sign for the Nets, who barely beat the Sixers, played about 6 minutes of good basketball against the Clippers, and couldn’t even compete with this Magic team. For some reason, the Nets have lost their footing recently. My advice, run something! Both Jarrett Jack and Joe Johnson could be seen yelling at Lionel, asking him to tell them what to do offensively, before opting to isolate and perform a bail-out. Sometimes the Nets tried to get some ball movement going, but they tended to pass into a crowd of opposite jerseys and cause an unnecessary turnover.
Over the last few games, the offense has reverted to being stagnant and sloppy, and good shooters like Larkin and Jack have somewhat been holding back and allowing players like Bogdanovic and Ellington to take the scoring load. I blame these misteps on the coaching, which promotes a now outdated, inside-focused offense. Since I don’t believe Hollins will be fired any time soon, I hope he watches tape of these last few games and makes some serious adjustments. By the look of his face during this game, he will be.