I don’t know. I really don’t know. What do we do, what do we think, as a fanbase following a string of losses like the ones the Nets have just went through —and are still going through? Do we keep watching? You know the old train wreck thing?
If the Nets were a person, like a real human being, and they caused me this much agony and frustration and pain and stress, my therapist would tell me to just cut them out of my life. No more Nets. No more fourth quarter collapses. No more hands on my head, standing in front of my TV in disbelief. No more tweeting into the void about players and hero ball and refs and coaching decisions.
But, as I’m sure plenty of you understand, that’s not going to happen. Because the Nets play Saturday night. And I’m going to sit my ass down on my couch in front of my TV and watch them again. Like I have a million times. And I’ll do it a million more. That’s just what we do.
The Wizards, believe it or not, are probably worse in terms of fanbase frustration. After all, no one thought the Nets would contend. Wizards fans thought their team would! Washington is coming into this one on a two game losing streak and sit at 10th in the East, one spot in front of Brooklyn. Their two biggest stars don’t like each other and their center just underwent spinal surgery.
The Nets beat the Wizards 115-104 last time these two played each other, and the Nets need a W in the worst way. Let’s get into it.
Where To Follow The Game
YES and WFAN have this one at 7pm, ET.
Caris Levert (foot) and Treveon Graham (hamstring) are still out. Joe Harris (groin) sat out Friday’s game against the Grizzlies. He was missed, and his fresh legs would be extraordinarily helpful if he’s able to come back for this one. Two Nets played more than 40 minutes. Another three more than 35.
Double overtime is exhausting enough, but pair it with a frustrating loss and a game the next day and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a rough one. The good news is the Wizards are also coming off of a back-to-back and were throttled by the Sixers Friday night. They’ve looked dysfunctional this season, and just about everyone on their entire roster is underperforming.
John Wall is putting up pretty typical John Wall stats, 21.5 points with 8.1 assists, but has been utterly awful on defense, 115 DRtg, -0.8 DBPM, and continues to be an anti-culture guy. This Washington team has an unstable core, and they might need to blow it all up just to fix it, but Wall is set to make an unbelievable amount of money over the next four years rendering his contract essentially untradeable. The Wizards are in a tough spot. As angry as we get at the Nets sometimes, let’s all take a moment and be thankful we won’t be paying a 32-year-old John Wall 46 million dollars to like, yell at the younger players and coaches or whatever he does at practice.
The Nets ran out a lineup to start the fourth of D’Angelo Russell, Shabazz Napier, Demarre Carroll, Jared Dudley, and Ed Davis which sparked the run that gave the Nets their lead to blow in the first place. It looked as if for a moment that this group was going to be a big part of an awesome comeback, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them back out there at some point going forward just to see how real that production was.
Russell, Napier, and Spencer Dinwiddie combined to shoot 34% on 54 combined attempts and that is what we in the business like to call “Not Good”. The guards have to be more consistent, especially when finishing at the rim, if the Nets are going to try and maybe win a game or two in the next couple of weeks. That’d be cool.
Player To Watch
Bradley Beal could be on the move at some point this season and might end up being a difference maker wherever he goes. Could he open up the Pelicans offense and catapult them into the Western Elite? Might he be the last piece the Sixers need to compete for a championship? We’ll see.
As of now, he’s shooting 46% from the field and an uncharacteristically low 33% from three. He’s not great on defense, but he’s a dynamic offensive player being a threat both on and off ball. The kind of guy who can get hot and put up a huge game. Plus he was an All-Star last season.
From The Vault
I think, for the moment, we all need a brief break from basketball. Life is bigger than the Nets. Here’s one of the great YouTube movie clips of all time.
For another perspective, head on over to Bullets Forever, our Wizards sister site on SB Nation. They hurt, too.