Infinite Nets Week 14: The Good Kind of Karma.

Ian Scott McCormick

Ian Scott McCormick

Ian is a New Yorker, a father, a husband, a sports fan. He covers a variety of subjects but really only appreciates burgers and cola.
Ian Scott McCormick

This team is above .500?

The Nets played the Celtics on Monday. This seems like a rerun from last week, but I checked. It was a different game. They met up in Brooklyn this time, so that’s a change of pace. Also, they won. Much better start to the week in my opinion.

D’Angelo Russell was a monster, and has been playing like an All Star for much of the season. Over the past eight games, he’s averaged 24 points, and he’d poured on 34 more tonight.

But the real fun came behind the announcers table when the YES Network and Comcast SportsNet decided to make an in game trade. Sarah Kustok was out, and Brian Scalabrine was in. Brian of course warned that they should be careful because the last time Brooklyn made a trade with Boston it didn’t work out so well for the Nets. Scalabrine from way downtown, bang. They more or less treated the game like a podcast. That’s fine. The show started in the third quarter when the Nets went off for 44 points.

Of course any 27 point lead means that the Nets would piss it all away more recklessly than a Greek retirement portfolio. I can sense these nightmare collapses coming. 27 points becomes 17. Then 11. Then the Celtics finally crack into single digits. The home crowd that aren’t Boston transplants begin booing. Look, they won by seven, and it’s still a win against the Celtics, so you take it and you don’t bitch that much, but it’d be nice if they could rattle off a few more boring games.

And of course it feels cheaper without Kyrie Irving in the game. In an odd twist, I’d heard the announcers say that Boston was missing Marcus Smart and Kyrie Irving for the game. In that order. And they said it three or four times (I think. I didn’t actually keep a record. This could all very well have only taken place in my head.), as if they were trying to send some subtle message. Maybe Kyrie’s leaving Boston? Probably not. I wouldn’t. But maybe. Maybe he’ll come to Brooklyn. Again, probably not. I’m not sure how his situation improves by trading one forward thinking franchise for another. I do know he’s not going to the Knicks, and am enjoying listening to all of my coworkers talk about what the Garden is going to be like when they get Kyrie, and Durant, and Anthony Davis. Every time. Every goddamn time there is some premier free agent, New York fans convince themselves that the Knicks are one of the marquee organizations. As if the previous 45 years have never happened. And every single time the cream of the crop gives them a polite look and says “Nah” to playing for that septic leak of a franchise. What happens is they then lure some guy who is pretty good, but not one of those four or five guys who can alter the course of a franchise, and pay him the max. So congrats on getting Jimmy Butler and I’m going to say Draymond Greene, Knicks fans.

I don’t know why I’m being smug. See below. I can’t make a prediction to save my life.

What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes?

It’s a tribute to Denzel. And The Equalizer, I guess. That’s not what I’d call his most iconic role, but it’s fun to be a fan.

I want to condense this game to it’s most basic elements, crush it up and snort it, offer it to the most beautiful woman in the world and make passionate love to her. My God. This game was nirvana birthed through the worst anxiety, leaving overwhelmed with catharsis, desperately looking for somebody, anybody, to high five. Watch those highlights. Or hell, don’t bother. I said I wanted to condense it. Do yourself a favor and watch these highlights. This is the part that matters anyway.

Look at that douchebag Chris Paul in street clothes trying to cheer them on. Watch James Harden try to roll that damn boulder up the hill. How’s it feel up there, Jamey?

Full disclosure: I am a James Harden hater. I’ll admit it. I completely hate his game. I find watching the Rockets is a boring proposal, and would struggle to ever get 1/4 of the way through the season if this were Infinite Rockets. What would there be to write about? They’re pretty good, but every single possession is so dull. You watch time slip away on the clock as James Harden jab steps, holds, jab steps, holds, and then goes up for the shot. Wait, did I say “goes up for the shot”? My mistake. I mean “goes up for the cheap ass foul by deliberately moving his bitch ass arms into the defender knowing he’ll get the call.” Its advanced flopping. For a few weeks he will be without Clint Capela, and with any luck this will signal the dawn of a glorious and beautiful downslide (It won’t). For those of you who only know the most established of basketball stars, Clint Capela is really good, and just so happens to be the second best teammate James Harden could ask for, the first being a ballboy.

Naturally I saw that there would be no Capela or Chris Paul and dreamed up the easy win, but as it turns out James Harden, flopping bitch that he is, is also really good at basketball. He is. Early on, as Jared Allen threw down uncontested dunk after uncontested dunk, I began to think that perhaps the James Harden Five might be done before they could start, but no. Houston caught up quickly, and soon zoomed by the Nets, hovering just out of reach. Quarters passed, my rage methodically grew. And then it all started to come together. Just when any reasonable person might have accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be the Nets’ night, Spencer Dinwiddie, my spirit animal, sprang back to life. Much like a 24 year old Ian at the bar on a Thursday night would have said, Spencer kept saying “Ah fuck it. One more shot.” One more ill advised shot. Only they all went down. And Houston went dry. Spencer continued to shoot and shoot and shoot, and bang, overtime. In overtime Houston once again went up big. And once again, a reasonable person might have said, well, that was fun, but it’s just not our night. And Spencer said, ah fuck it. One more shot. Because Spencer stays out real goddamn late.

Look at this win probability chart.

LOOK AT IT.

Oh God, Houston. This is almost as bad as you going 0-27 from three in the Western Conference Finals last year. Oh, did you all hear that Houston, a team that just chucks up so many Goddamn threes, and has built their entire boring offense off of the three, once went 0-27 in the WCF and failed to reach the Finals because of it? Because that totally happened. I haven’t shot a basketball in five years and I know I could go 3-27 from deep. Put a hand in my face. I’m not going 0-27. And you’re supposed to be good at basketball. It’s like, the thing you do for a living. LOL. Eat shit, Houston.

It’s so perfect that my search for the Bonfire of the Vanities somehow got littered in there. That is my working theory behind where The Good Place is going, if you were curious. I can explain in the comments section, but I don’t want to bog this down with random silliness.

What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes?

Shout out to Beyonce. It’s her hometown, after all. These are really cool shoes. I wanted to call them kicks, but I am not young enough to get away with calling them kicks. I could not pull off a Queen Bey shoe, and would get laughed at for trying.

Finally reaching .500 and doing against the depleted but still legitimate Boston and Houston, the Nets had a chance to solidify their position in the playoffs. True, they may very well be stuck with a 6th place ceiling. The Celtics are in front and they promise to be hard to catch. But there is a close race behind them, and the threat of 9th place looms very real. The Magic can be dangerous, but if you are a good team with playoff aspirations, you aren’t allowed to be scared off by a 19-25 team. Don’t get complacent. Don’t get lazy. Cut through the weak.

Once again, the Nets fell behind, also in annoying fashion. The cold comfort in knowing that the Magic wouldn’t maintain their 58% 3 point shooting was mitigated by the realization that holy hell, we’re getting the doors blown off by the dang Orlando Magic. At its worst they trailed by 21. But they chipped away, and chipped away, and Spencer Dinwiddie got a clutch three off in the corner. And D’Angelo Russell dropped 40 points. And just like that, Brooklyn is back in the black, above .500 and looking like a team that might have something else in the tank. Caris LeVert will return eventually. Kenneth Faried will be bought out, with rumors speculating that he will be picked up by Houston. Convenient. I look forward to despising you, The Manimal.

And Jared Dudley remains delightful, scolding dudes on twitter.

You know what, the Nets do work hard, and Kenny Atkinson is getting the best out of them. But come on, bro. There’s no way Chicago is more talent rich. Of course, I had to chime in, and got his attention.

ZOMG, I GOT A NET TO TALK TO ME, LIKE A BIG, IMPORTANT SPORTZ PERSONALITY. Granted, it doesn’t appear to be profoundly difficult to get Jared to respond. The dude loves to talk, and is going to make a legendary personality when he finally calls it quits and pursues announcing. But still, really cool hit from the Skinner Box. By the way, look at the timestamp. The game is on, my man.

Anyway, the Nets are in a good place. They’ve gone 16-5 since I dropped the truth bomb that they were obviously tanking. This is why I never gamble. Will this run last? I just said I can’t predict shit, so who cares what I think? But I am enjoying this tremendously, and it does feel as though the universe is balancing out. And if it does feel like they are playing an inordinate amount of tight games, yes, the stats back that feeling up. They are currently tied with the Lakers for most “clutch” games this year at 28. And they are 14-14, so have been dealt roughly the same amount of good and bad fortune. I guess I’m at peace with the debacles against Memphis and New Orleans, knowing that it’s all balanced out, and the improbable losses have been met by the improbable wins.

But I really think they’re legit.

What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes?

It’s Orlando, so Disney. I inexplicably love these shoes. So colorful. I realize that the drawings don’t hold up once you get too close, but from a distance? Exquisite.

The Brooklyn Nets are 24-23 and in 6th place in the Eastern Conference.

Ian Scott McCormick
Ian Scott McCormick
Ian is a New Yorker, a father, a husband, a sports fan. He covers a variety of subjects but really only appreciates burgers and cola.
https://ianscottmccormick.com/
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BrettFavresColonoscopyMoose -The End Is Well NighKing HippoRikki-Tikki-DeadlyIan Scott McCormick Recent comment authors
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BrettFavresColonoscopy

Fuck the Knicks, especially John Starks, and good on you for getting Jared Dudley’s attention. Next ask him about Russian cinema.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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King Hippo

piss it all away more recklessly than a Greek retirement portfolio

LOVE. IT!

BrettFavresColonoscopy

Usually I need makeitsnow to tell me if we’re sad about Greece today.

Porky Prime
Porky Prime

As a Lakers fan (sorry), I understand why they thought they had to trade D’Angelo at the time. He had lost the trust of his fellow young Lakers with an admittedly bitch move, and since I believe they weren’t 100% sure they had LeBron locked up, they favored Lonzo as a player who could conceivably grow with a young nucleus.

However, with the addition of not just LeBron, but several veterans with a more professional attitude towards a young guy’s mistakes, Dlo would have simply been a better fit.

Beerguyrob

If there were a way to get the Russian owner of the Nets to chime in on your movie reviews, I believe we might achieve peak synergy.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

If the Nets go on to make the NBA Finals I vow to print up every single one of these columns, starting from the beginning, and read them aloud at a childrens’ hospital (to the kids at first, then out on the sidewalk after I am escorted from the premises).

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

Fun fact: I was a huge Nets fan after they made that trade with Boston. KG has been my favorite NBA player since his rookie year, and Jason Kidd also has a special place in my heart. It really sucked it didn’t work out, but I think we all knew it wouldn’t.

Also, this still cracks me up.
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Downfield Matriculator
Downfield Matriculator

Your comments on Harden reflect my deeply held belief that his game, which could be magnificent as he is mightily talented, is instead a league cancer. The more he succeeds with his bullshit approach — the foul harvesting nonsense with his gesticulating and flopping — the more unwatchable the NBA will become. If I wanted to watch that sort of crap, I’d get up early and watch European futbol!

Game Time Decision

I’m with you, those Disney shoes are awesome. They are the first pair that I’d actually want to wear.
/immediately steps in mud

ballsofsteelandfury

That is so awesome that he responded to you!

I didn’t think I could ever get back into the NBA, but your Nets are getting me there…