First off, let’s tackle the Giants Midseason review:
The Giants are dead. There is nothing to review. All that is left is to pay respects
Christ, I made that whole video and forgot to include Snacks Harrison being traded. His getting traded was the thing that made me think to create the shitty video in the first place. I could go back and edit it, and then re-upload it to YouTube. I have the time. But…it’s the Giants man. How much energy am I going to burn on that? Now that we’re done with those losers, it’s on to the stuff that matters. The Brooklyn Nets.
Basketball makes me choose. It’s one thing to casually watch a team play 40 or so games. But another to attempt the full 82 game season (plus the playoffs that I’m really banking on these Nets making), while finding new and exciting things to say about the game or your middle class life itself. And already the wife is complaining.
“You’re not actually going to watch every damn Nets game are you.”
Clearly this is a woman who sees a 2-5 record and runs away completely ignorant of how close those games have been.
Nevertheless, last night was Halloween, and while the prospect of going 2-5 into match-ups with Houston and Philadelphia might produce terrors, tonight was about taking the little one out into the neighborhood for her first real night of Trick or Treating. She’s two years old, the only words that came out of her mouth were some variation of “Halloweeeeeen” or “Tricker Treat” or “Candy.” She pointed out pumpkins on every brownstone stoop, and insisted that I use the Spider stencil when carving the pumpkin. So naturally as soon as somebody tries to place a piece of candy in her bucket she start screaming and crying. A few houses later she started trading, pollinating every bowl with whatever candy she was holding at the time, and then grabbing a new piece, which she would inevitably deposit in the next bowl. She got the hang if it eventually, had too much candy, and I was back at home watching the Nets seek revenge out on the Pistons.
It’s a little telling that as the Nets would be playing a game to keep their heads above water in the early part of the season, there is not one cap nor jersey nor mention of the team from any of the locals. There seems to be legitimate interest in the Nets within their darkened arena, but my apartment appears to be an island in a sea of indifference. Sports themselves seem somewhat like the distraction of the plebeians as far as the curated upper class urbanites in my hood are concerned. Granted this arena and the gentrifying effort in general is one of the main contributors to half of these people living here, but that fact is surely something that they would choose to ignore.
Outside everybody with kids has dressed up except for myself, who is far too lazy. The people who hand out candy on their stoops drink wine in the dark and transition from complimenting my adorable daughter, to tolerating her as she stands in front of their bowl trying to snag a third treat, to gently telling her that she has to leave, hoping that my wife will take the hint. Which she wont, as she’s busy taking a photo of the exchange with her phone. Halloween is very much for the new parents, who can’t wait to show off their semi established children, in those precious few years where their assistance is still required. I’m probably supposed to be more in the moment, as the moment is passing me by, but I find myself embarrassedly trying to correct my daughters behavior, guiding her by the hand to the next place, where she’ll repeat the same behavior, hoarding candy that I will have to eat, as I am a responsible parent who does not pump sugar into their toddler daughter.
I’d spent a week talking up the quality of what the Nets were building two blocks away. Generally speaking I’ve liked what I’d seen, apart from that game against the Knicks when their spirits were most likely sapped by the back breaking losses to the Pelicans and Warriors. I liked the job that Kenny Atkinson had done with the team, and I’d liked the talent that they had assembled. Opening night featured a tough loss to these Pistons. They looked great against the Cavs. LeVert looks like he might become a Joe Johnson type. The pieces look solid. But then they were 2-5. And sure, the season is young, but as I’d mentioned before, they are set to host an already desperate Rockets team. And then they get the Sixers. There’s a very winnable game against the Suns coming up after that, but they follow that with a stop in Denver, and another in the Oracle Arena to face the Warriors. 2-5 can quickly become 3-8, or even 2-9. And for all his plotting and scheming, Kenny Atkinson remains 70 games under .500 for his career, which bad roster or not, doesn’t give you much of a leash. Eventually results have to matter. This does not appear to be a team that will truly face any must win games, but if they wanted to prevent the dreaded ‘bad start’ the rematch against the Pistons would have to go their way.
And quickly the game followed a familiar pattern. The Nets got out to a quick lead, but squandered it by halftime. They fell behind in the third quarter when their bench played most of the minutes, and made their patented mad dash toward respectability in the fourth. But in those dark moments, I’d wondered, man, is this what it’s going to be like? There was yet another stretch where bad shots followed in succession and I’d wondered how this team had given Golden State and New Orleans scares just a few days before. I also found myself becoming hardened in bitter. It’s far too early for me to have negative feelings about Spencer Dinwiddie, especially after his 25-4-4 night where he hit the dagger game winner. But for whatever reason I end up focusing on the obviously silly plays where he loses control or takes a bad shot, forgetting that his imperfections are meant to be a part of his rambunctious charm, and judging him like a dad who can’t be bothered. But that reliability came in handy as they entered the 4th quarter, and I knew Kenny Atkins would put the best of the squad into the game, and the Nets would begin the mad chasedown. Sure enough, they forced overtime, and while surviving a late storm by Blake Griffin, managed to stifle him with the ball and their own precious one point lead. One missed shot later, and they were redeemed for their one point loss to the Pistons on opening night.
I want to put a bow on this night. It was a winning effort, but again, the game makes you choose, and I desperately have to conduct my other business. There will be a game tonight. They will play the Rockets, and I will try to catch glimpses of the game in-between beers at the bar on my weekly night off from being a dad. We’ll worry about that later.
The Brooklyn Nets are 3-5 and sit in 9th place in the Eastern Conference.