San Antonio Spurs vs. New Jersey Nets: Few Bright Spots in Bad Loss for Nets
What is there to say about the New Jersey Nets after a game like this?
In being dominated by the San Antonio Spurs Monday night, the Nets were outplayed in nearly every aspect of the game, losing by a final score of 102-85.
There's no point in getting too upset about this, with the Spurs owning the best record in the league and the Nets being in Year One of their rebuilding program, but this game did show us exactly where the Nets need to improve the most.
As has been the case for much of the season, they could not score enough to keep pace with their opponent.
The Nets shot a whopping 35 percent from the field against San Antonio, and not a single player who saw significant minutes had what could be deemed a good shooting night.
As it goes for the Nets, their success largely starts and ends with Brook Lopez, and the center was taken out of the game by San Antonio's Tim Duncan.
Lopez hit just five of his 16 shot attempts to score 11 points. He only got to the free-throw line twice, and the Spurs didn't have to provide their star with much help in the way of double-teams.
Duncan is one of the best big men to ever step foot on a basketball court, and he took Lopez to school in this one.
New Jersey's inability to close out quarters was also on full display, as they gave up killer baskets at the ends of both the first and second quarters.
In each period, the Nets scored with around five seconds left, only to let a Spur quickly get down the court and put the ball in the basket, negating the points they had just tallied.
This was particularly damaging just before halftime, when Tony Parker of the Spurs totaled three points after a basket and a foul just after Sasha Vujacic had nailed a three-pointer.
That put the Nets down 11 instead of eight and, when combined with what happened at the end of the first, turned what could have been a mere six-point deficit at the half into a double-digit hole.
So, were there any bright spots?
Yes, there were, and as written earlier, Nets fans shouldn't dwell too much on this game. A loss was to be expected against a championship contender, and New Jersey was at least able to keep the game reasonably close until the tail end of the third quarter.
And for as much as Lopez struggled on offense, he was still able to record a double-double by grabbing 10 rebounds.
Lopez has had a very hard time getting boards this year, but has now gotten himself double-doubles in two of the team's last three games.
While he'll have to keep that going for it to be a sign that he's turned the corner, it is nonetheless a step in the right direction.
The Nets were also not as sloppy with the ball as they have been at points this year, turning it over only nine times against the Spurs. It's nothing world changing, but it is a small thing to be pleased with.
New Jersey would be best served to close the book on this game and start preparing for their visit to Boston Wednesday night.
Just as is the case for the fans, there's no point in the players getting overly discouraged about being soundly defeated by the Spurs.
It's something they have in common with just about every team in the league.
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