The NJ Nets Don't Look That Bad When They Lose: New Jersey Versus Memphis

Ian McDonnellContributor IMarch 9, 2010

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 27:  Devin Harris #34 of the New Jersey Nets talks with Brook Lopez #11 during a time out against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden on February 27, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Nets defeated the Celtics 104-96.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Grizzles at home and the Nets on the road, it was a beauty from the get go. I’m not sure why I decided to focus on this one last night. I had choices. Good teams with championship hopes in the Spurs Cavs contest. In New York, the Knicks were giving Atlanta the run around yet again.


Mavericks had an interesting game against the Timberwolves which saw a few technical fouls and an ejection. Then there was the no defense contest between the Warriors and Hornets which I didn’t catch a single minute of. I wish I did, but I didn’t. Who knows why?


I have to admit I was pulling for the Nets in this one. I like Memphis. Gasol and Randolph are great to watch with Gay, Mayo, and Conley filling it out. Memphis actually has a very competitive staring five. If the games were shortened to 30 minutes then Grizzlies might have a shot. Much to the dismay of Memphis fans its 48 and unfortunately Lionel Hollins has to play his bench at some point.


Good thing for him New Jersey has the worst 4-11 in the league. So this game was always going to be about the starters.


Randolph sat this one out which was good new for Jersey as he would have eaten Josh Boone for dinner. So the battle of the front court was left to Gasol who put up a standard with that little bonus a player gets when they play an inferior team; he put up 19 points and 13 boards as he went on his way to dominating Brook Lopez who managed 10 points and 7 boards in 41 minutes.


Darrell Arthur started for the injured Randolph but most of the minutes went to DeMarre Carroll who put down a respectable 10 points and 8 boards.


On the other end Kris Humphries had a lot of hustle but it seems every steal and block produced by Humphries is followed by a terrible pull up jumper or failed low post hook shot. At first I couldn’t believe that Trenton Hassell gets to start over Humphries but it the end it probably meant the difference between Humphries 1-7 shooting and his possible 1-15.


The only thing keeping the Nets in that game was the ever growing play from their starting back court. Harris is playing like a winner right now even as his team is losing. This is something that wasn’t there when this season started. Harris and Lee combined for 58 points on a combined 21 for 38 shooting and for the second game in a row came out on top in the battle of the guards out scoring the Grizzlies backcourt buy 19.


Unfortunately, Brook Lopez wasn’t playing like Brook Lopez. The Nets are underdogs in every game but if Lopez goes for 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting then Jersey has no chance. I am not sure if it was just an off game or Marc Gasol just had his number, either way Lopez didn’t look like he wanted to be there and the Nets lost because of it.


The Nets lost because they are the worseof the two teams but they aren’t the worst of all time. A few close games and flashes of quality make me realize that New Jersey is a lot better than their record implies. 2010-2011 might be night and day from this one. This game was fun because win the Nets win it’s a big deal. I want to see them succeed. Or it could be that I am a Raptors fan and understand how it feels to get stiffed by Vince Carter.