Saturday, May 02, 2015

Nets blown out by Hawks, eliminated from playoffs; "not a complete failure" or NBA's "most hopeless"

Brooklyn Nets sent this to their mailing list
They don't even make the back page of the tabloids, but the Brooklyn Nets--generally seen as overpaid and having mortgaged their future by trading away draft choices--were eliminated last night by the first-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the sixth game of the first round of the playoffs.

The Nets had put up a surprisingly strong fight in the series, tying it at 2-2, before reverting to mediocre play.

From NetsDaily:
The season ended in the third quarter. The Nets came out of the halftime break extremely stagnant, which led to a 23-3 Hawks run and 28-point lead less than six minutes into the quarter. Brooklyn trailed by only six at half.
No signs of fight, no signs of defense, no signs of mental toughness. Brooklyn turned the ball over six times in the quarter and allowed Atlanta to score a total of 41 points in the quarter, four less than what the Nets scored in the first half.
...The irate Brooklyn crowd booed the home team off the court as the inevitable was becoming a reality earlier than it should've.
As the fourth quarter came around, there was no resilience nor fight as the Nets looked somewhat content with a blowout on their home floor.
New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro wrote Disgraceful Nets expect good vibes from failure of a season:
Yes, it certainly was touching, all the hoorahs and huzzahs the Nets tried to bestow on themselves the past 14 days. They were thoroughly impressed by themselves, by the fact they did not fold into the tuck position in this series with the Hawks, did not opt to offer forfeits to Atlanta.
Yes, indeed: The Nets showed up for work in Games 3 and 4, and won both games. They gave the No. 1 seed all it could ask for, making the Hawks work for the victories they collected in Games 1, 2 and 5.
Gosh-darn-it, these Nets were so plucky, you could almost forget this was a second straight year when they spent more money than anyone else in the NBA and got so little bang for those 304-million bucks, winning exactly one playoff series. You could almost forget a team with three max-out players only made the playoffs their coach so proudly cited because they happened to play in what may have been the worst conference in the history of professional basketball.
...Now they want a standing ovation for squeezing into the playoffs with 38 wins. They take great cheer in being the only playoff team in New York, as if being better than the Knicks qualifies as anything other than being slightly more debonair than Abe Vigoda.
From the Times:
With that, the Nets, who have the highest payroll in the league, concluded another bewildering season in which they alternated between periods of proficiency and apparent incompetence. They tried and discarded offensive systems like party outfits. They played through injuries, trades and some seemingly dysfunctional parts.
...[Nets guard Alan] Anderson said the Nets had competed with the Hawks in every game of the series — except the last one: “To end it like this is nothing to hang your hat on,” he said.
And yet, in a perplexing season of sudden ups and downs and multiple identity changes, one in which the Nets’ true identity was continually hard to discern, it was an oddly appropriate way to end it.
Update: the aftermath

From Net Income of NetsDaily:
Now comes the reckoning.
The five year plan for a championship failed, despite the enormous expenditures, the enlistment of stars, the move to Brooklyn with its great arena. A new plan has to be devised and carried out. And it begins now.
It was, by no means, a complete failure and those parts that succeeded --Brooklyn, Barclays Center, ownership's commitment-- remain the team's biggest and best assets. Ownership and management will likely be (mostly) intact. There are rumors one or more members of the coaching staff may not return. But Mikhail Prokhorov is likely to retain control, Dmitry Razumov will likely still call the shots in basketball operations and Billy King and Lionel Hollins will likely retain their positions for at least another year.
The buzz for 2015-16 is that it will be a "bridge year," moving from the Big Three and Brooklyn's Backcourt to the 2016-17 TV rights bonanza
Sheridan Hoops's Michael Scotto was tougher, in Scotto: Mikhail Prokhorov’s Midlife Crisis
A first-round blowout in Game 6 with numerous empty seats and free t-shirts hanging in place of potential fans was not the vision Prokhorov had in mind when he purchased the team. In fact, some fans yelled “refund” and “go back to Jersey” as the Nets allowed 41 points to the Hawks in the decisive third quarter.
Will Prokhorov be going through a mid-life crisis in Turkey with beautiful women surrounding him? Hardly. On the other hand, the Nets are a team in crisis mode heading in the wrong direction next season.
Prokhorov will have much to ponder when he returns from his triumphant Turkish weekend.
Is it time to sell the team and cash out with a nice profit that will fund many more lavish birthday parties in the years ahead? Prokhorov turned what was a woeful franchise during its final years in New Jersey into a worldwide brand in Brooklyn that has made the playoffs in three straight seasons since moving.
Should there be a change in management?
..After five full seasons of Russian ownership, has this project been a success?
SB Nation's Tom Ziller wrote  The Nets are the most hopeless franchise in the NBA:
...This is what Nets fans have to get excited: The possibility of re-signing Brook Lopez (real good but one injury to his chronically injured foot from retirement), Thad Young andMirza Teletovic, plus two rotation players in their mid-20s and one additional fringe rotation player under age 25.
It gets worse! The Nets don't own their own first-round pick outright until 2019... So, there's no incentive to be bad, even.
...Plenty of NBA teams fail miserably. At least for most fans, there's a bright light to wake you in the morning. A promising young star like Andrew Wiggins, a reliable beast likeDeMarcus Cousins and a bucket full of ping pong balls heading into the lottery.
That's not the case in Brooklyn. What an incredible failure.

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