February will tell the tale of our Nets

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The Nets have already defeated tough opponents including the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Indiana Pacers, and the Los Angeles Clippers during the course of this season, leading many Brooklynites to conclude this team is for real.

But then, at some point during the second half of the Houston Rockets’ throttling of the Nets last week, a day after suffering the same humiliation in Memphis, there’s that sneaking suspicion that this squad could end up a paper tiger. Trade rumors swirling around the team prove it actually needs to add another piece to make Brooklyn a genuine contender.

The back-to-back losses to Memphis and Houston were concerning because they came against two teams that are good for completely different reasons, so who, exactly, the Nets need to acquire remains unclear.

Memphis has one of the league’s stingiest defenses, currently holding opponents to an NBA-best 89.45 points per game, while scoring 93.41 points per game. Houston has one of the league’s most potent offenses, dropping 104.87 points a game — second behind the dynamic Thunder — while giving up 102.38 points per contest.

Different teams, same embarrassing result for Brooklyn. Yes, the Nets rebounded to crush the Orlando Magic, a bottom-feeder that has provided a welcome confidence boost each time it has appeared on the schedule.

But now, the four games against the Magic are over. That win made the Nets 17–0 on the season when facing sub-.500 teams. Our boys had 27 wins at the time, making them 10–18 against teams with at least as many wins as losses.

Beginning with the Miami Heat on Wednesday, nine of the Nets’ next 13 games are against teams with winning records. And one of those sub-.500 teams is the star-studded Los Angeles Lakers, a team that look like it finally has solved confounding early-season woes.

February will tell us who the Nets really are.

Matt Spolar is a nearly 6-foot-1 journalist with a middling high school basketball career who is sure the Nets win thanks to team’s top-tier guards.

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Reasonable discourse

Barry from Flatbush says:
If they play like they did in the first half against the Heat, they can do something this season. If they play like they did in the second half against the Heat, we're done.
Jan. 31, 2013, 7:22 pm

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