As silly and fun as the Nets' season opener at Barclays Center was, the Nets didn't play all that well. They were sloppy on offense, slagging on defense, and strangely better when their reserves were on the floor than the starters. For the three quarters of the their game last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, though, there was no need to be worried. The Nets led by eleven heading into the fourth and had essentially controlled the whole game. The crowd was happy. All was well. And then it all imploded.
Minnesota blasted Brooklyn 32-10 in the fourth quarter to end up with a 107-86 win, handing their Nets their first loss as the Brooklyn Nets. As ESPN New York put it, the Brooklyn Nets turned into the New Jersey Nets. (That's such a mean joke! Hasn't Jersey suffered enough?)
The Nets pretty clearly slacked off in the fourth quarter, and Deron Williams, who had played so well in the first three quarters, was held scoreless in the fourth. Though with ten points, there weren't many to go around. It was, quite simply, a total shutdown in the fourth. The Brooklyn Game (formerly Nets Are Scorching) hopefully noted that "every team has two or three games like this," but you'd rather not have one of those be one of your first two games of the season.
Mikhail Prokhorov was there goofing around before the game, interviewing the team's scorekeeper, and the Nets apparently have decided to support the "Broooook-lyn! Broooook-lyn!" chant by pushing it through the loudspeakers, wisely. But when your team is losing in ugly fashion, it doesn't matter how nice your arena is or how long your borough has lacked professional sports. The Barclays crowd ended up booing the team, which was quick, and several reports — we weren't at the game — claim that the Nets already have the Yankees problem of a ton of lower bowl seats being empty while the high-up seats are filled.
Oh, and the Nets get to play at Miami on Wednesday. The Nets need to rub some dirt on this one and walk it off. It's not always sunshine. BrooklyKnight must be so depressed.