NJN@MEM 3.5.08

Nets Fall To Grizzlies

By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

Memphis 100, Nets 93

Memphis, TN, Mar. 5 — In a wild up-and-down affair down in Memphis against the lowly Grizzlies, who had lost nine-in-a-row, the Nets couldn\’t capitalize on their advantages as they fell to the opponent, 100-93. In the final analysis, the Nets didn\’t defend Grizzlies\’ starting PF Hakim Warrick well enough to win.

Warrick scored a season-high 25 points, on 9-of-15 shooting, including 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, to lead the Grizz to victory. The Nets also let their usual nemesis, Grizzlies\’ SG Mike Miller, score 22 points, on 9-of-13 from the floor. That along with reserve PG Kyle Lowry\’s 15 points and seven dimes off the bench did New Jersey in.

The Nets got plenty of production from the point as starting PG Devin Harris scored 20 points, albeit on only 6-of-17 from the floor, and handed-out eight assists. That along with reserve PG Marcus Williams\’ 11 points and eight assists off the bench kept the team in the game and gave the Nets a fighting chance … But Devin \’shot pure blanks\’ (0-for-6) from downtown. [Even Dick Cheney could do better!]

SF Richard Jefferson heated up early and finished with 22 points to carry the team much of the game, but didn\’t score in the fatal fourth quarter. That was crucial as SG Vince Carter was not much of a factor on that end of things this night putting up only 12 points. [Maybe he was tired?]

C Nenad Krstic, on the other hand, who had his best game yet with 16 points, 9 boards and a pair of steals and some deflections in 35 minutes of action, was a bright spot, but still has a ways to go. He is nowhere near playoff-ready!*

Nonetheless, both teams were coming off a game the night before and, therefore, the Nets couldn\’t simply excuse a losing performance … to a team that had only won 1-of-its-last-16 … DUE to exhaustion. Both teams were exhausted!

The Nets played this game as though they were both lottery-bound & playoff-bound. The second unit, along with RJ, built up a strong 8-point lead in the first half when Marcus came in … And then lost it. The score was tied at halftime. Again, the team, this time along with most of the starters, carved-out a 10-point advantage well into the second half, but then \”let go of the rope\” and didn\’t close it out.

Which team will show up for the Nets\’ faithful the rest of the way? The way it\’s beginning to look, the lottery-bound one might prevail. [Of course, Schizophrenia is a very complicated disease … But a lottery \’stud\’ might be just the cure!]

It all means that this is a game the Nets should have won. It won\’t get any easier for the balance of this road trip that goes through New Orleans, Houston and Dallas.

If the Nets don\’t win the easier ones, this road trip may end up resembling the recent winless Western swing that led to Jason Kidd\’s hasty departure. While the new-look Nets are trying to find a winning formula and identity in the aftermath, with the incoming playoff-tested talent, like Harris and Diop, it shouldn\’t be too difficult to establish – but may take longer than expected. Unfortunately, the Nets have to get it in gear right about now as they don\’t have the luxury of any more siestas the rest of the season.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2005-2008 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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