Latest posts by Ian Scott McCormick (see all)
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Alright, we’ve got Caris back and are playing the Bulls. No way this doesn’t work out.
The Nets started the week down a few key players and ended it with a few of them back. However they also fell back a game in the win loss column. I guess I’ll take the trade, but I’d rather get the wins too.
I’m going to be honest, I’m running out of narratives to write about. And unfortunately for me, narratives are all that I’ve got. There are always going to be better sites than my own for people who feel as though they want to understand what happened in the Nets game, and that sort of dry analysis just isn’t my forte.
But it occurs to me that I’ve been writing a lot about this fantastic season and more than a few of you casuals wouldn’t be able to spot these guys out of a lineup. So in lieu of discussing the actual games, I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to the gang now that we’re close to 60 games into the season.
Here are the two other games. They beat the Nuggets and lost to the Bulls. Such is life.
There are of course two benefits to waiting this long. For one, I’ll have watched enough of these players to form an at least half cocked opinion, and for another, now that the trade deadline has passed, I no longer have to worry about any new guys joining the crew.
I’ll start with the newly minted All Star
He’s the lone true All Star on the squad, replacing the injured Victor Oladipo. Because the All Star Game is no longer played by the conferences, DLO will play for Team Antetokounmpo. He’ll also probably get his ass kicked, because Giannis seems to have picked his team after downing a bottle of Absinthe. But it’s the All Star game. Who cares? The big story is that D’Angelo Russell made an All Star Game. There are a lot of fans of revisionist history who will insist that he was never that bad as a Laker. Bullshit. He was well on his way to being a bust. He’d gone full social media narc on teammate Nick Young, and when the general public thinks you were the immature one in an encounter with Swaggy P, something has gone terribly awry. In a lot of ways the kid just wasn’t ready for the NBA or the Lakers or Hollywood, but how many young players have thrived under Magic Johnson of late? They’ve had the #2 pick in the draft for about 50 years, and yet they still suck. LeBron got injured for a month, and they’ve fallen through a hole into the Earth’s Mantle (otherwise known as 2.5 games behind the #8 seed in the Western Conference). Maybe LA just sucks at developing players. Either way, D’Angelo Russell probably didn’t have a lot of chances left had his stay in Brooklyn failed, and now he’s an All Star going into restricted free agency. It’s a decent place to be.
Jarrett is not an All Star, but he will be a part of the festivities, having been one of two Nets named to the Rising Stars Challenge. His job will be to remove all the fun that the other RC players will attempt to have, because he has stopped more scoring than that hot girl’s crabby roommate who came out to the bar even though she still “has a cold.”
Here he is ruining everybody’s day.
I’ve noticed that while his offensive game is a little raw, he would be a pick and roll nightmare, and will be absolutely deadly as an alley oop option just as soon as his teammates realize that he can’t actually jump 16 feet in the air and stop airmailing the ball into the stands. Sometimes I think that he would be a little better served to focus on rebounding instead of going for the soul destroying block, but it’s hard to argue with the entertainment factor.
You might have noticed above that I said two Nets will be in the Rising Stars Challenge. Rodi is that 2nd player. Rodi was the 40th draft pick last year. You’ll notice that this means he went in the 2nd round. This pick was passed around like the worst gift in a Yankee Swap, as it was first traded away back when the Lakers traded for Dwight Howard in 2012. I’m not kidding. Check the details. They traded their 2018 2nd round pick as a part of that package. Fun fact: Dwight Howard has since suited up for the Rockets, Hawks, Hornets and Wizards. Anyway, Orlando traded that pick away to the Raptors, who eventually traded it to the Nets. And funny story, Rodi’s actually pretty damn good right now. He’s definitely the best Latvian born player in the city now that Kristaps was traded to the Mavericks. He’s a swingman who just always seems to be there when something exciting goes down. He can play defense, knock down threes, and drive for dunks and layups. Without checking his game logs though, it looks like he’s hitting some kind of wall. Still, pretty good pick. See? Second round picks aren’t always trash.
Wrapping up all of the All Star adjacent Nets, Joe Harris will be participating in the three point contest. Earlier this year I’d complained that people were being a little too annoying about commenting on his beard. That remains true. Shut up about his very normal looking beard. But by all means, keep focusing on his game. Joe can hit a three. He’s also sneakily adept at driving for some pretty nifty looking layups. Joe Harris is good. His beard is still pretty unremarkable though, considering that there are probably 100,000 thicker beards in Brooklyn.
Also, I cannot grow a beard.
Spencer is the man. He draws on his shoes. He hits super clutch shots. He’s a freak in the gym, and if you talk to anybody about his workout regimen they will rave about his dedication. Keep in mind, these are all professional athletes. These guys are all psychopaths. It’s how you keep from being Anthony Bennett and living that G-League lifestyle. But Spencer came from the damn G-League. The Nets found him a few years ago, gave him a shot, and watched him develop into one of their best players. Unfortunately he’s hurt, and out, and not coincidentally, the team has started losing a lot more games than normal. That sucks. I really want him to come back.
Caris LeVert probably would have been the All Star pick, had he not been horribly injured back in November. He was their do everything 2 guard, and had just started to take off as a clear number one option. He was their best clutch shooter, and was a pretty slick defender. And then he injured himself against the Timberwolves, and everybody was sure he was done for the year. He wasn’t. He came back this week. Also they lost to the goddamn Bulls, and I don’t want to talk about it one bit. But for a while it looked like he really was done, and I might have thought that the Nets season was done. They proceeded to lose so many games in a row and briefly fall out of the playoff picture. In the end, it may have been a net positive for the team, as they did learn to win without their best player. D’Angelo and Spencer emerged as legitimate stars. I’m not simple enough to think that just getting him back is going to equal more wins. They’re going to have to find a way to keep getting DLO and Spencer their touches. But I’m glad he’s back.
Now it’s apology time. About a month or so ago, I’d noticed that the Nets continued to win with several key players out. I’d hoped for a quick return from Caris, and for Allen Crabbe to take his time getting back. That was a pretty dickish thing to say. I’m sorry. Allen doesn’t deserve that. He’s played below his career averages earlier this year, but he wasn’t doing that on purpose. Hell, he might have been playing through an injury. He did go on a bit of a hot streak right before the injury, so maybe he just needed to learn the system. I hope he continues to hit a lot of threes and makes me look like a total douchebag for typing that.
I also have to come clean about the way I’ve been talking about Ed Davis. A few weeks ago Ed erupted for what was clearly his best game that I’d seen him play as a Net. I wrote about it here, but then I commented on a Nets forum that I still thought he was going to fuck up big time in the playoffs. Everybody called me an asshole. Everybody was probably right. His advanced stats are actually really damn good. He rebounds like a psychopath, and he puts back a hell of a lot of second chance buckets. Also, from all reports, he’s one of the coolest guys in the league. When Portland didn’t keep him, Damien Lillard went full on Mad Online. People would take a bullet for this guy. And here I am, a dick with absolutely no WS/48 to my name ripping on a guy who genuinely busts his ass. What the fuck is wrong with me? First of all, what the hell did I expect out of a backup center when I decided to watch the Nets last summer? How has he not lived up to everything somebody might expect for a backup center on a team that hopes to be the 6th seed in the East? Still, all I end up seeing are the dumb fouls where he makes his damn “who farted?” face. He’s still really good. The eye test is a terrible way to assess talent. At least it is for me.
Ha. Love that picture. Jared’s cool, and you are eventually going to see him on television as an analyst. Yes, he plays while clutching onto the fundamentals worse than a 45 year old at the Y, but he can hit some threes if you leave him wide open, and he gives a pretty good interview. He’s worth following on twitter if that’s your thing. And he’s injured, because so, so many Nets have been injured this year.
He’s fine. His numbers aren’t great, but we’re getting pretty deep into the bench, so you’ve kind of got to grade him on a curve. I think his hair is thinning though. He can say it’s that he’s getting the braids pulled tight, but I’m seeing a lot of scalp up there. I feel like he’s going to need to make the decision to clear the forrest soon enough. As somebody who has studied the landscape above his forehead in the mirror a few times already, all I can say is I feel you, brother.
College fans will remember him for helping the extremely annoying UConn win two titles. Does even one person out there like UConn? Why? Shabazz is one of those guys who leaves me screaming obscenities at the television, until a bunch of his low percentage threes start going in, and I understand that he needs to take ill advised attempts. Also, I felt like he took too many shots against the Bucks this week.
I love the energy and the defense, but I don’t know that he’s a huge part of the Nets plan going forward. He’s a really strong dude with no jump shot. He’s really great at driving to the rim and drawing a foul, but he’s shooting under 65% from the line, so we can debate just how effective that strategy really is. But he’s 23 years old. And you can develop a jumper. And the Nets are proving that they’re quite adept at developing talent. If they see something they like, I’m all about his future.
He just came back a few games ago, and I have not had a chance to form an opinion. I think he kind of looks like a guy version of Leslie Jones. That’s all I’ve got. I need more time to really give you a take, and that’ll probably be dependent on how well the Nets play over that stretch, which is pretty unfair. But he’s yet another 3 point shooter from what I gather. The Nets really, really like 3 pointers.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. I’m sure there are other players who have suited up, but those are my opinions on the Nets.
Also, I just do not get how they lost to the Bulls on Friday. Hey guys, maybe put a guy on Markkanen while he’s carving you up.
The Brooklyn Nets are 29-28 and in 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings.