News » AT LEAST THEY TRIED - NIGHT AFTER COASTING, NETS GIVE TRUE EFFORT


AT LEAST THEY TRIED - NIGHT AFTER COASTING, NETS GIVE TRUE EFFORT


AT LEAST THEY TRIED - NIGHT AFTER COASTING, NETS GIVE TRUE EFFORT Blazers 93 - Nets 83

PORTLAND - Quick question: Who do you think will win more games in their respective seasons, the Nets or the Jets?

You just might answer differently if the Nets got a chance to play the Raiders.

Right now a football team's win total would be pretty appealing to the winless Nets , who equaled the fourth longest losing streak to start an NBA season, 15 straight, when they succumbed to the Trail Blazers 93-83 last night. This was a matchup of the NBA's premier defense - that would be Portland - against the NBA's worst offense - that would be New Jersey. And once again, good defense beat shoddy offense.

The Nets' realistic last chance to avoid equaling the all-time record of an 0-17 start comes tomorrow at Sacramento. After the Kings, the Nets end their Western trip against the Lakers, then go home to face the Mavs and Jason Kidd.

Yeah, that game with the Kings is a virtual Super Bowl for the Nets , who became the seventh team to lose their first 15. There have been a pair of 0-17s, an 0-16 and now four 0-15s to start.

Portland unleashed its athletes in a balanced game and though the Blazers bent repeatedly throughout the night, they never broke. The Nets rallied from a 12-point deficit to force a tie in the third quarter and trailed by six entering the fourth. But the Blazers, who put six players in double figures, led by Greg Oden (18 points), used a 16-6 run that featured three Rudy Fernandez 3-pointers and the Nets were down 80-65 with 6:24 left. The Nets , behind Brook Lopez (32 points, 14 rebounds) got within 82-73, but a Steve Blake triple at 1:04 for an 89-77 Blazer bulge was the dagger.

For much of the game, this was nothing like a double-digit deficit game. Lopez was forceful early and the Nets hung with the Blazers.

Coach Lawrence Frank expressed confidence that his Nets , who also got 18 points from Chris Douglas-Roberts, and particularly Lopez would respond from a dreadful performance the previous night in Denver.

"I fully anticipate for him and our team to bounce back," Frank said.

He was right on both counts.

The Nets , in general, and Lopez, in particular, attacked the rim early on. Maybe the Nets were ticked by the PA system blaring The Who's "Who Are You?" when each player was introduced before the game. By halftime, when the Blazers led 49-44, Lopez was just one rebound away from a double-double. He seemed determined to wipe away the memory of his struggles in Denver, where he managed five foul-plagued, low-energy points.

"I have to do a lot more energy, aggressive stuff," Lopez said. "Get on the floor for loose balls, crash the glass, especially the offensive glass. Set good picks, block shots."

Score points? Win a game?

Hey, you can't have everything.

Devin Harris (six points) and Courtney Lee again came off the bench, though Harris will start tomorrow in Sacramento.

And win, lose, draw, forfeit or rainout, the Nets needed a solid effort after the Denver debacle.

"I would think that feeling was more of embarrassment than it was of despair," said Frank.

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All for nothing

Should the Nets remain winless on their current trek, they would face the possibility of establishing the NBA's all-time record for consecutive losses, 18, to start a season against the Mavs Wednesday at the Meadowlands.

The possible Countdown To Infamy:

Game 15, at Portland L, 93-83

Game 16, at Sacramento Tomorrow

Game 17, at Lakers Sunday

Game 18, vs. Dallas Wednesday


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 27, 2009

 

 
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