Don't bother coming to the State Fair unless you bring a pie, Jim Bob. The Nets have the most massive squash award sewn up already.
This game was pretty straightforward, tragically so for the Blazers. Here are the ABC's of this loss.
A is for Attitude. The Blazers showed none, nor much passion, urgency, or any other synonym you'd like to name. The Nets are kind of old. Some nights they look good but others they look like they're wading in molasses. Every Brooklyn player looked like Flash Gordon compared to the Blazers tonight.
B is for Board Work. The Blazers had none of this either. In our game preview we talked about the Nets liking to score through offensive rebounding. One of the strong keys to the game for Portland was controlling the boards...keeping the Nets off of the glass, away from cheap paint points, forcing them to run back on defense into a quicker pace than they're accustomed to. BZZZZZT. The Nets had 18 rebounds in the first quarter, plus 14 second chance points. Brooklyn finished with 19 offensive rebounds and 95 total shots. They normally attempt 79. It was a massacre.
C is for Center. Sensing a pattern here yet? The Nets got one. The Blazers? Not so much. Brook Lopez shot 12-22 for 28 points. J.J. Hickson had 8 points and 7 rebounds. Meyers Leonard (a.k.a. "Miles" according to ESPN commentators) scored 11 off the bench with 9 rebounds but got destroyed on defense.
D is for Defense. Technically this shouldn't be here, as whatever the Blazers played tonight didn't qualify. Nobody contained their man in the first 16 minutes of this game. Nobody rotated when the ball got past the initial defender. Nobody rebounded to finish the play on the rare occasions the Nets missed. Nobody got out to cover Brooklyn's good three-point shooters when the Blazers finally started desperation double-teaming. Last I checked the Blazers roster doesn't include a guy named "Nobody", so you know this was bad news. How bad? The Nets scored 74 points in the paint tonight running plays so basic that they could have been designed for a 5th grade team. Brooklyn is 20th in the league in points in the paint with a 40.2 average. The Blazers morphed them into the Nuggets.
E is for Evans...as in Reggie. The guy averages 4 points and 10 rebounds per game. He had 22 points and 26 rebounds tonight.
F is for the word Blazer fans were saying as they watched this mess.
We should stop before we get to Gigantic, Hella-Incompetent Junkfest. Cuz "hella" isn't even a word.
The Blazers made a couple stabs at a comeback from the 30-point deficit as the game evolved. Those runs came against the Brooklyn bench when most everybody on the other side was beyond caring. Besides, at this point in the season "The Blazers made a nice comeback" isn't a statement of hope, it's an admission they're off the wagon again and need to head back to Deep Deficit Anonymous.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points on amazing 11-14 shooting on one leg. He twisted his ankle early and limped through 32 minutes before getting pulled...mercifully.
Everybody else in the starting lineup got hosed. Damian Lillard had one of his patented brief scoring runs. Nicolas Batum stuffed a Gerald Wallace dunk in a manner that should make SportsCenter. None of it mattered.
Outside of Eric Maynor's 5 assists, Meyers Leonard had the only significant contributions off the bench. They're mentioned above, but we should also mention that Leonard is starting to throw some mustard into his picks. He's going to get whistles for the extra-credit chucking, but it's still good to see. Make them fear coming around that screen.
Anything else we talk about is just pulling Cheerios out of the garbage can. Let's hope the Blazers actually show up against Utah on Friday.
NetsDaily will have an important job tonight, reminding their team not to track any Trail Blazer onto the team plane.